Honda is to cut production at its Swindon factory from three shifts to two, threatening 340 jobs at the car manufacturer.
The Japanese company said it would consult on a proposal to reduce the workforce by more than 300 employees. As well as moving to two shifts, production will be consolidated on to one line, to “improve production flexibility and efficiency” while production volumes remain unchanged.
Honda has been manufacturing cars at Swindon since 1992 and builds the Civic, Civic Tourer, CR-V and Jazz models for the UK and European markets. Tony Murphy, national officer of the Unite union, said: “These job losses are a devastating blow, not just for these workers but for the thousands more across the industry whose work is dependent on the Honda plant. Today’s losses are also a wake-up call to the UK government. The economy is far too fragile to proclaim a recovery – those workers losing their jobs today will find claims that the country is turning a corner an insult. The truth is that there is simply no pick-up in the incomes of Honda’s customers, either here or in the eurozone. People are not confident and do not have the cash to spend. That is something which must give the government serious cause for concern.”
In 2011 Honda was forced to halve production at its Swindon plant due to a shortage of components caused by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.