TOP-level negotiations are being lined up in an attempt to avert the loss of 250 jobs at Ingersoll-Rand's Hindley Green engineering works.

Shop floor workers at the compressor plant went on a one-day strike yesterday and office workers are to hold a ballot on industrial action.

Now Leigh MP Andy Burnham is urging the Department of Trade and Industry to meet with the company and employees' representatives to try to resolve the situation.

Mr Burnham gained the support of fellow MPs Terry Lewis, Neil Turner, James Purnell, Tom Watson and Mark Tami as he tabled an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons.

Mr Burnham's motion read: "This House notes with grave concern the plans announced by Ingersoll-Rand to relocate its manufacturing base for compressors from Hindley Green to the Czech Republic; believes the resulting loss of 250 jobs would be a bitter blow to this former coalfield area and communities across the Hindley Green, Leigh and Wigan areas; urges the Department for Trade and Industry to open a dialogue with the company and the AEEU trade union as a matter of urgency; and calls on Ingersoll-Rand to give full consideration to the strong case for maintaining its manufacturing operation at the Hindley Green plant which has a proven track record for quality and high productivity".