OVER 1,000 agency workers at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) are to lose their jobs following a drop in sales caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.
The company announced up to 1,100 temporary production line roles would be cut across its manufacturing sites in Solihull, Castle Bromwich and Halewood in Liverpool.
Although the company has not yet announced how the cuts will be split across the three sites, union Unite said it understood around 400 jobs would be lost at Solihull.
A JLR spokeswoman said: “Through its ongoing transformation programme, 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.
“Against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, the company has taken the difficult decision to reduce the number of contract-agency employees in its manufacturing plants over the coming months.”
Unite described the announcement as ‘more devastating news for the UK’s automotive communities’, adding it was ‘concerned that the delay in a sector support package is propelling companies to shed workers’.
Unite national officer Des Quinn said: “This is a painful blow for a loyal workforce.
“Given the unprecedented drop in demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was all but inevitable that job losses would be announced.
“It is another devastating blow for our auto sector and the communities that rely on them for jobs. We urge the government to get on with delivering the urgently needed sector support package, as other countries such as France and Germany have done, so that we can stem the tide of redundancies.
“Unite will ensure that the affected workers are fully represented and assisted during this difficult and stressful period. If workers are made redundant then Unite will ensure they receive everything they are legally entitled to.”
JLR, which is owned by India’s Tata Motors, reported a loss of £501m before tax in the final quarter of its financial year.
The company initially furloughed half of its entire UK workforce – up to 20,000 workers – at the start of the coronavirus outbreak. Around 13,000 employees are currently on furlough.
The workers affected are employed by the agency Manpower and principally work on the car production line.
Job cuts will begin by the end of July, and continue until the end of the year.