CALLS have been made to support local workers and businesses after a Hampshire employer announced plans to axe around 200 jobs.

Contact lens manufacturer CooperVision revealed job cuts are due to advances in manufacturing and not the coronavirus pandemic.

The US-based business said it would “phase out” some production processes at sites in Hamble and Chandlers Ford.

Hampshire Chronicle:

Tory MP for Eastleigh Paul Holmes - Tory MP for Eastleigh previously offered to “help those individuals impacted”.

However, the Eastleigh Labour party is now calling on him to do more.

Spokesperson, Josh Constable said: “Meetings between staff and Coopervision management should be an urgent priority for him [Mr Holmes]. This is especially urgent because of the current jobs crisis.

“The government’s economic policy is causing avoidable job losses when what the economy needs is clear direction and people need greater support.

Hampshire Chronicle:

Josh added: “Labour has consistently called for more training schemes, better investment priorities and the scrapping of universal credit to support people facing redundancy. A thriving economy needs to not only encourage innovation but ensure its benefits are shared by all. The government must do more to support workers so that when jobs are lost, workers can be supported in transitioning to secure jobs for the future.”

As reported Mr Holmes said: “While the company is attributing these redundancies to business changes and new technologies rather than coronavirus, this announcement will have a profound effect on CooperVision employees.

Hampshire Chronicle:

However, despite the cuts one reader, commenting at, said “It’s progress, one job will be replaced by others. Who do you think will develop and manufacture the “robots”, service and repair them etc.

For example look at how the car manufacturing business has changed over the years. yes, unfortunately due to progress sadly people may loose their jobs but people can retrain (that’s if they want to) to either stay in that particular industry or move on to something else. I appreciate that this is unprecedented times and there are a large number of the UK workforce struggling to keep or find jobs and this is unfortunate timing but sounds like it was inevitable so would have happened regardless of the pandemic.”