Honda staff set to return to work
Thousands of staff will resume production at the Honda car factory at Swindon in Wiltshire tomorrow after a four-month shutdown at the plant.
The workers have agreed to a 3 per cent pay cut for the next 10 months, while managers are having pay reduced by 5 per cent in the face of the big downturn in new-car sales.
As many as 1,300 workers at Swindon have taken voluntary redundancy, reducing the workforce to 3,400.
Staff got full pay for the first two months of the shutdown and around 60 per cent for the last two months.
Although the return to work is welcome news, the plant will be turning out far fewer cars this year, despite the popular Honda Jazz supermini starting production at Swindon from September.
Honda had hoped to produce 228,000 vehicles at Swindon this year. But last November this figure was reduced to 175,000 when it was decided that production would stop in February and March this year.
In mid-January, Honda said the shutdown would last through April and May as well, and the 2009 production figure has now been set at just under 113,000.
With production halted, Honda has spruced up the Swindon plant, stripping and rebuilding assembly lines and redecorating throughout.
Honda new-car sales in the UK dipped more than 16 per cent in April 2009 compared with April 2008 and sales for the first four months of this year are down more than 34 per cent.
But the restart of production comes at a time when there is a glimmer of hope amid the motor industry gloom.
Last week, the Government announced that the "cash for bangers" car-scrappage scheme had been an initial success, with 35,000 new cars being ordered since the initiative was first announced on April 22.
Nationally, new car sales have fallen 28.5 per cent in the first four months of this year. But it is possible that the scrappage scheme could, at the very least, halt the rate of decline.
educationTo mark International Women's Day, Sarah Brown on how charities have brought proper joined-up thinking to the delivery of education
Lammily: Barbie-like doll hits Kickstarter fundraising target in a day
12 Years A Slave star Lupita Nyong’o on racism in beauty: 'Every day I woke up hoping my skin was a little bit lighter'
Belle Knox: How a porn star student from Duke University became bigger than Justin Bieber
Oscar Pistorius trial: Neighbour feared South African athlete would use gun that killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp to shoot himself
Top 10 most expensive cities in the world: Singapore named costliest place to live – but what about London?
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
- 1 The future of sex: The first female condoms were derided, mistrusted and shunned - but will their modern counterparts catch on?
- 2 South African rhino finally put down after roaming Kruger park for days with horn hacked off and bullet in brain
- 3 Study suggests that 'gaydars' are real - at least for women
- 4 Man stabbed with Legend of Zelda Master Sword in serious condition
- 5 First clip of Outkast's Andre 3000 in Jimi Hendrix biopic All Is By My Side emerges
£1200 per month: Inspiring Interns: Our client is one of Europes leading mobi...
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: Founded in 2008 by two Chinese tech entre...
£12000 - £18000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: Our client is a high-end niche t...
£22000 - £25000 per annum, Benefits: Subsidised gym membership, 25 days holiday...