‘Bitter blow’ as thousands of DHL jobs at risk at Jaguar Land Rover plants
Thousands of DHL workers at Jaguar Land Rover plants have learned their jobs are at risk in a move described as a “bitter blow” by a union.
According to Unite, around 2,200 agency staff involved in the production of Jaguar Land Rover’s vehicles at sites in the North West and West Midlands could be affected.
Unite says that two in five of the entire workforce employed by DHL on the JLR logistics contract face redundancy, across full-time, salaried and agency staff on the contract.
The cuts will fall on all of JLR’s major factories in the North West and the West Midlands including Castle Bromwich, Ellesmere Port, Halewood, Hams Hall, Midpoint, Solihull and Tyrefort.
The 2200 proposed redundancies comprise just under 40% of the entire DHL workforce on the contract.
DHL has not given a firm date about when the redundancy process will be completed but has indicated that half of the job losses are a result of a decline in car production and half are as a result of anticipated “efficiency savings”.
A spokesperson for the company 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.”
Unite national officer for logistics Matt Draper 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.”