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Old 11-03-2004, 07:33   #1 (permalink)
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UK:JAGUAR: 'Jobs being touted around Europe'

JAGUAR: 'Jobs being touted around Europe'

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UNIONS giving evidence to the Trade & Industry Select Committee, yesterday, said the closure of car production at the Jaguar plant in Coventry was the 'tip of the iceberg'.

Officials from both the Transport and General Workers Union and Amicus said more job-cuts were coming to light.

Whilst Ford has announced that 1,150 jobs will be lost when car production is transferred to the Castle Bromwich plant, the unions said more cuts were threatened at the Browns Lane site - where a few hundred jobs are being retained in the leather and wood trim department - as well as at Jaguar's factory in Castle Bromwich.

R&D AT WHITLEY 'COULD CLOSE'

They also gave a warning that other sites at the Ford-owned firm, including the R&D department at Whitley in the West Midlands, could close within the next 18 months.

Tony Woodley, general secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union, told the Select Committee that Jaguar had received £80m of public money since 1995, while the ending of car production in Coventry would cost £78 million.

"Cynics might say that taxpayers are footing the bill for the closure of a highly successful, highly productive and efficient plant and throwing thousands of highly skilled UK workers on to the scrapheap."

Tony Murphy, national officer of Amicus, said he knew that that the 400 wood trimming jobs which Ford say will remain at Browns Lane are being 'touted around Europe' and more job cuts than were initially announced will go from Castle Bromwich.

"Unless Jaguar moves to expand its product range and address capacity issues, the research and development centre at Whitley and at least one other UK production site are in jeopardy. Then what is to stop Ford moving whole scale Jaguar production out of the UK?"

The union bosses said there had been no con*****tion by Ford before the announcement was made and no meetings had been held since.

Ford executives are scheduled to give evidence before the MPs on the Committee later this month.

JAGUAR DENIAL

Last night, Jaguar said: "There are no other incremental redundancies as part of this programme," adding that it could "no longer afford to run three separate factories able to produce 200,000 cars a year when we are selling 125,000". The company also ruled-out the closure of either the Whitley R&D centre or the veneer facility.
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