The union, Unite says around 2,200 DHL agency staff working at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) in the North West (including Halewood and Ellesmere Port) and the West Midlands have learnt their jobs are at risk
According to Unite, the losses will affect two in five, or just under 40%, of the workforce employed by DHL on the JLR contract across full-time, salaried and agency workers.
Described by the union as a, “bitter blow”, the news comes as a result of a decline in car sales and production.
The cuts will fall on all of JLR’s major factories in the North West and the West Midlands, including Halewood, Ellesmere Port, Solihull, Castle Bromwich, Hams Hall, Midpoint, and Tyrefort.
According to the union, DHL has not yet given a date when the redundancies will be completed but has indicated that 50% of the job losses are a result of the decline in car production and 50% are a result of anticipated, “efficiency savings”.
Matt Draper, Unite national officer for logistics said, “This is a massive, bitter blow for a dedicated workforce – and on the eve of the Chancellor’s speech underscores the urgency of need for jobs-saving action from the government. Again, while governments in Spain, France and Germany are acting swiftly to secure a future for their car manufacturers, we see no such ambition from the UK government and as a result jobs are going. Unite has not yet received any details of how DHL intends to make 50% of the proposed redundancies through efficiency savings but we are making abundantly clear to DHL that they will not be able to force these workers to undertake impossible workloads as they show other workers the door. While DHL is the employer, the reality is that the workers perform their roles for JLR. JLR has a moral duty to ensure that workers are treated fairly and decently during this incredibly difficult and stressful time. DHL must not attempt to make permanent full-time staff redundant while continuing to outsource work to sub-contractors.”
A spokeswoman for JLR said, “DHL informed us that they were going into consultation with some of their workforce last month. Through its ongoing transformation programme and against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jaguar Land Rover is taking action to optimise performance and achieve further operational efficiencies to enable sustainable growth and safeguard the long-term success of our business.”
A spokesperson for DHL Supply Chain said, “ In light of highly challenging trading conditions in the global automotive sector and the unprecedented impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to restructure our linefeed and freight operations supporting the Jaguar Land Rover contract. This is in line with future volume forecasts and forms part of the optimisation and efficiency initiatives that have been driven by both organisations in recent months. We are now in consultation with our employees and their representatives and will make every effort to redeploy as many colleagues as possible to our other operations nationwide. We would like to thank our colleagues for their understanding at this extremely difficult time and stress that this proposal is based solely on the commercial challenges affecting the global automotive sector, and in no way reflects on the service levels delivered on the contract in recent years.”
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