Workers at the Honda car plant in Swindon were shocked when the company announced 800 job losses on the 10th January. This figure was widely reported in all the news channels and newspapers. I spoke to a worker at Honda who told me that the number of jobs due to be cut is in fact 1100, divided equally between production line workers, administration staff, and workers on temporary contracts. This amounts to almost a third of the workforce.
Honda are clearly not telling the whole truth, trying to hide the full extent of their planned cuts. Only last September the company announced that they were investing and extra £267 Million in the Swindon plant and planning to increase the production of the new Civic from 183,000 per year in 2012 to 250,000 within three years. A company spokesperson was quoted then as saying “Sales in the UK are up 10%, so we are in a strong position. Europe is not quite so good, but is holding up”.
In reality there has been a dramatic drop in sales of vehicles in Europe due to the recession, down from 17 Million to 12 Million. In Southern Europe, where Honda have concentrated their efforts, the decline has been even more drastic. In the light of such colossal mismanagement and lack of foresight the managers of the company should be sacked immediately. The UNITE union branch is meeting shortly to draw up a campaign against the job cuts.
South West Shop Stewards Network
NSSN are in touch with reps there and there further information will be circulated.