Work­ers ex­press fears on two- week JLR shut­down

Solihull News - - IT TALK - ASH­LEY PREECE ash­ley. preece@ reach­plc. com

JAGUAR Land Rover’s agency staff have spo­ken of their fears af­ter they were stood down for two weeks.

JLR’s two- week pro­duc­tion shut­down started this week as hun­dreds of agency staff were told not to turn up while other con­tracted work­ers en­joy time off with full pay.

The lux­ury car gi­ant an­nounced the tem­po­rary clo­sure of its Lode Lane plant in Soli­hull ear­lier this month.

In a let­ter agency staff were told JLR had ex­pe­ri­enced “poor sales dur­ing Septem­ber”. It re­sulted in ve­hi­cles stock­pil­ing at show­rooms across the UK as JLR re­ported to­tal re­tail sales of 57,114 ve­hi­cles in Septem­ber, down 12.3 per cent year- onyear.

Alarm­ingly, JLR saw a sales slump of 46.2 per cent in China for the same pe­riod.

Last week DHL agency work­ers at the plant were handed a brief­ing doc­u­ment out­lin­ing what the shut­down means.

The let­ter, dated Oc­to­ber 17, ex­plained a 100 banked hours agree­ment which was orig­i­nally drawn up in 2008.

It means DHL work­ers will be paid in full unless they ex­ceed 100 hours owed, as a nor­mal work­ing week con­sists of 39 hours, or 78 hours across the two- week shut­down pe­riod.

A DHL worker at JLR in Soli­hull, who didn’t want to be named, claimed: “We’ve all been left in the dark as far as I’m con­cerned.

“Pay day is the 25th and no­body knows what we’re be­ing paid. Will it be ba­sic pay? Who knows?

“We all feel like we’ll be go­ing into Christ­mas with­out any money, that’s how we’re all look­ing at it. It’s wor­ry­ing. I’ve got a fam­ily.

“We haven’t been bal­loted on the shut­down and I’m fum­ing with it. I am get­ting paid though, but I don’t have a clue how much.”

Other agency staff are not so lucky, though.

An­other DHL worker at JLR said: “I’ve man­aged to find work else­where but, over the two weeks, it’s go­ing to be hit and miss. I will be go­ing back there be­cause of the un­cer­tainty.

“Peo­ple are say­ing the JLR bub­ble has burst and a lot of peo­ple I know aren’t go­ing back af­ter the two weeks.”

Else­where, JLR work­ers from other agen­cies such as Man­power UK and Blue Ar­row have also been re­port­edly or­dered to stand down, with some un­sure if they will be miss­ing out on wages.

An­other worker said: “Two weeks off and I still don’t know if I am get­ting paid. This has brought lots of fi­nan­cial worry and stress on me and my fami- ly. I’m just spend­ing two weeks look­ing for a role where I will be ap­pre­ci­ated and where I can pay my bills with­out wor­ry­ing. I’m now look­ing for a com­plete new job away from JLR.

“The job se­cu­rity is not there any more.

“I just hope I find a job sooner rather than later as this is putting a lot of stress on my­self and my part­ner - and I’m out of pocket by about £ 370 per week.”

JLR pre­vi­ously said: “Customer or­ders will not be im­pacted and em­ploy­ees af­fected will be paid for the du­ra­tion of the shut­down.”

fee‘ We all l like we’ll be go­ing into Christ­mas with­out any money. It’s wor­ry­ing. I’ve got a fam­ily. We haven’t been bal­loted on the shut­down and I’m fum­ing with it. DHL WORKER AT JLR

Jaguar Land Rover’s Lode Lane plant is in shut­down

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