Pay freeze deal to save Jaguar workers' jobs

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Thousands of workers at car giant Jaguar Land Rover are being urged to accept a one-year pay freeze and a four-day week in return for no compulsory job losses for two years, it was learned today.

The deal was thrashed out between union leaders and the company, which has cut around 1,800 agency, production and management jobs in recent months because of the downturn in the motor industry.

Workers at the company's sites, including Castle Bromwich and Solihull in the West Midlands and Halewood on Merseyside, will vote in the coming week on the proposed deal, which is aimed at saving up to £70 million in costs.

Dave Osborne, national officer of Unite, said: "We have now outlined the details of the framework agreement to shop stewards across Jaguar Land Rover.

"They overwhelmingly supported the recommendation from the negotiating committee that this document should go to our members with a recommendation that it is accepted.

"The agreement includes a shorter working week for manufacturing, with a two-hour reduction in production and a one-hour reduction in pay. It will be a four-day week in manufacturing areas."

A company spokesman said: "We have had a number of constructive meetings with the unions to reach this agreement.

"The unions recognise the severity of the situation and the need to take action to achieve further cost reductions while avoiding further redundancies."

The company employs around 15,000 workers.