Jaguar Land Rover said it was facing “one of the worst recessions the world has experienced” – with a vital shopfloor vote which could avert up to 1,800 potential job losses looming.
The crisis-hit carmaker released a statement ahead of a fortnight of talks between unions and management over proposed cutbacks.
Union sources say among the cuts are a four-day week, reduction in shift payments, scrapping holiday bonuses, a pay freeze, an increase in employee pension contributions and 500 more voluntary redundancies.
JLR said today: “It is no surprise Jaguar Land Rover is seeking to reduce costs. We have been working with employees, suppliers and dealers through a difficult few months. Regrettably, we have had to announce redundancies and release significant numbers of agency and temporary labour. Most recently, we announced the reduction of a further 150 agency personnel and elimination of 300 management positions worldwide.”
“Last week, we met trade union colleagues and gave them an update. It was clear a traditional response would have been the announcement of further redundancies. Neither the company nor unions wish to lose further high skilled jobs. We jointly agreed to explore other options to reduce our cost base.
“A number of options were presented by the company. None of them were discussed in detail, agreed or dismissed.
“The company and unions agreed a joint approach to reduce costs to avoid further job losses was the best approach. To that end, it was agreed to have meetings over the next couple of weeks.
“Any cost reduction packages that affect employee terms and conditions of employment would be put to the workforce to obtain support. We are at an early stage in discussions. It is inappropriate to comment on any particular proposal or speculative numbers.
“We will work with unions and when we have something public to announce we will do so. We are detetmined our first detailed communications on these matters will be with our employees.”
The Birmingham Post’s campaign backing JLR’s request for a £1billion loan lifeline from the government has attracted more than 7,600 names as talks between Downing Street and the Tata-owned group continue. No decision has yet been announced about the loan request.