JLR Workers Support Their Unions'; No More Job Cuts With Four Day Workweeks
March 5, 2009
Jaguar/Land Rover employees today voted to support their unions' proposals to owner Tata that guarantee no further compulsory job cuts for one year with a frozen pay scale and the maintenance of a four day workweek.
Roughly 70% of workers at the brand's U.K. plants in Gaydon, Whitley, Castle Bromwich, Halewood, Solihull and Browns Lane backed the propositions by unions Unite and GMB.
As we previously reported, JLR employs around 15,000 workers in the U.K and already cut around 1350 from the bunch late last year. Of those, about 500 were trimmed on a voluntary buyout basis.
In a time of massive automotive industry layoffs, the decision by JLR employees to not accept wage raises and work a shorter week is a welcomed take on how an automaker and its workers can join to better cope with the current crisis.
Below is a joint statement give by both the Unite and GMB unions:
"We did not want our members in JLR to be faced with the same fate as the thousands of others who have been dismissed in other companies. Our members in JLR deserve better - much better. The management agreed with our view that, when this unprecedented recession ends, that the retention of a skilled and loyal workforce is an integral part to the ongoing success of this business.
"The union and our members were faced with a difficult choice, but no less difficult than the choices we have had to make in recent times. When the business was sold to Tata we faced up to that challenge together and delivered the best possible agreement which safeguarded our plants and our members' jobs. We did not work hard for that to see wholesale redundancies less than 12 months later.
"The choice for our members was clear - further mass redundancies or what is undoubtedly some short-term pain in order to secure the future for our members and their families.
"Only the latter could have been in the best interests of our members. The harsh reality is that some of our members would have faced the prospect of a future of uncertainty and little prospect of quality employment for the foreseeable future. We believe that is too high a price to pay for any of our members, let alone the substantial numbers of workers at risk if this agreement had failed. Concessions on pay and benefits that the unions have negotiated hard over many years are not made lightly, but our members acknowledge the stark reality which is, there is little point in having the best terms and conditions of employment if you have no job or no company left to pay them.
"Our members should be commended for the decision they have taken today. This was an excellent result for the unions and great show of solidarity from our members for which the unions are very proud."
Source: Unite the Union