Financial News

  • 26 March 2014, 14:06

Honda Swindon Plant Job Threat Over Shift Cut

More than 300 jobs are under threat at Honda's plant in Swindon as the car manufacturer cuts production.

The Japanese firm wants to reduce workflow from three daily shifts to two - blaming poor sales growth outside the UK.

Its review would also result in a single production line being created to improve efficiency and flexibility.

The plans, Honda said, would leave 340 production staff (10% of the workforce) at risk of redundancy and the Unite union pledged to fight any job losses.

Ian Howells, senior vice president of Honda MotorEurope, said: "Over the last 12 months, we haven't seen the growth we'd anticipated.

"With noincrease forecast for the next couple of years, we must scale our manufacturingactivity accordingly.

"However, with the restructuring we're taking today, and our new model plans,we remain confident in the long-term future of our Swindon plant.

"Our Swindon operation continues to be the hub for our European carmanufacturing activity," he added.

Honda has been manufacturing cars at Swindon since 1992 and currently buildsthe Civic, Civic Tourer, CR-V and Jazz models for the UK and European markets.

Tony Murphy, national officer of the Unite union, said: "These job losses area devastating blow, not just for these workers but for the thousands more acrossthe industry whose work is dependent on the Honda plant.

"Today's losses are also a wake-up call to the UK Government. The economy isfar too fragile to proclaim a recovery - those workers losing their jobs todaywill find claims that the country is turning a corner an insult.

"The truth is that there is simply no pick up in the incomes of Honda'scustomers, either here or in the eurozone. People are not confident and do nothave the cash to spend. That is something which must give the Government seriouscause for concern.

"Decent, skilled jobs are being lost today and investment is being withdrawn,which is ringing alarm bells and putting the remaining workforce in fear fortheir future.

"We cannot allow workers of this expertise to be dispatched to thedole queue - the country needs their skills if we are to power our country backto economic health.

"Unite is determined to do all we can to save these jobs and skills. It isvital that the Government joins us in the fight for manufacturing."