A firm which keeps parts for Honda in Swindon has announced that 135 temporary workers are to lose their jobs.
It follows last week's move by the car giant to scale back production because of a fall in sales. South Marston Distribution Centre is cutting more than half its temporary workforce and will be mainly basing its decision on people's performance.
This will be a bitter blow to the workforce and the local area and we will be working with local partners to minimise the impact of the job losses. Times are tough in the European market but the automotive industry remains a major success story for the UK. Over the last two years global manufacturers including Nissan, JLR and BMW have invested 6 billion in the UK safeguarding and creating new jobs.”
– Spokesperson for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Swindon Borough Council leader Roderick Bluh has issued a statement reacting to the job losses at Honda.
Honda is one of our biggest and most valued employers in Swindon so we are naturally disappointed the company has had to take this difficult decision. This announcement will affect many people and families throughout Swindon and we will be working with Honda, and our partners, to provide as much support as possible to those employees who are affected by these job losses.
Honda Europe's executive vice president, Ken Keir, has told The West Country Tonight that the proposed job cuts in Swindon are a long term solution to the lack of demand in the European market. He said they don't expect any further cuts and that the company has a 'long term future' in Swindon.
The union Unite says it will fight any plans for compulsory redundancies by Honda bosses. Staff were told this morning that nearly a quarter of the workforce at its Swindon factory are to go this year.
"Unite will oppose any compulsory job losses. We expect Honda to negotiate meaningfully with the union in order to mitigate the impact of these cuts. Unite will be meeting with our local union reps in the coming days to discuss the company's proposals."
The Unite Union says Honda's decision to axe nearly a quarter of its Swindon workforce is a disaster for manufacturing in the UK and for the local economy. Union leaders were told of the job loses yesterday and are locked in talks with bosses today.
This is a hammer blow to UK manufacturing and to Swindon where Honda is a major employer. The reality is that over 1,000 jobs are going at Honda - it’s a disaster for manufacturing in the UK and for the local economy . It's a tragedy for our members and their families. There's no doubt these cuts will have a significant knock-on impact on the supply chain, and on local shops and services .That is why we intend to save as many jobs as possible.