The 3,500 staff at Honda in Swindon are facing a pay cut, and the company is keeping its associate release programme, where staff wishing to leave can receive a cash payment, open until next week.
In Japan the company is forecasting a consolidated £320m loss, the first in its history, and workers there have been given a 10 per cent salary reduction for all Associates and 15 per cent for managers.
At South Marston what is likely to happen is that staff will receive the same pay packet as they did 12 months ago and that will cost them between £500 and £1,000 a year, depending on earnings.
But the factory is on schedule to start production again in 69 days’ time at the beginning of June and Honda have continue to stress there will be no compulsory redundancies.
Associates were due today to get letters from the company from Dave Hodgetts, the planning and administration director, who stressed how dire the situation was for car manufacturing.
“The seriousness for the global car industry and the unpredictability of what will happen in the future cannot be underestimated,” he said.
“This makes it extremely difficult to confirm a longer term plan. While we are not able to predict when the economic situation may improve we must continue to remain flexible to the ever changing circumstances.”
He said the company had made enormous efforts to cut costs from the operation while protecting jobs.
“However our intention is to provide job security for those Associates who remain committed to HUM and it remains our aim to maintain an objective of no redudancies.
“We believe the mutual trust between Associates and HUM is always the key to our success.”
The workforce at Honda, which used to be almost 5,000, is now around 3,500 and the associate release programme – letting people go through their own choice – estimated to cost the company in excess of £10m.
Mr Hodgetts said he appreciated that a one year pay cut could adversely affect the motivation and lifestyle of Associates.
“HUM believes that Associates who have not applied for the release programme were highly committed to Honda. Please understand that for our future success we need to survive now so that when the market recovers we can become the best car manufacturing business and adapt to market changes quickly.”
The company and its staff council equivalent will be starting discussions over the next few days.
Source: This is Wiltshire