Press Report : Lord Mandelson’s praise for JLR’s closure plan

Jon Griffin, Birmingham Post, 24th September, 2009

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson has praised Tata’s commitment to its workforce in the wake of the closure bombshell – as unions warned they would fight the shock move.

Bert Hill, Regional Officer of the GMB union, said: “We are now in a meeting with the company to hear details of their plans. GMB will be opposing everything we have heard so far. We will fight the company on this – of that I have no doubt.”

JLR also said it was planning to close its final salary pension scheme to new entrants from next April and switch them to a defined contribution scheme. Virtually all of JLR’s employees belong to the final salary scheme.

Today’s announcement of Jaguar Land Rover’s business plan shows how focused it is on the future of the industry and the opportunities available as we move to a low carbon future. I welcome the commitment that Tata is showing in the highly-skilled workforce employed by JLR in the West Midlands and Merseyside as well as the top-class models it produces.” Lord Mandelson, Business Secretary

Meanwhile, Lord Mandelson said: “Today’s announcement of Jaguar Land Rover’s business plan shows how focused it is on the future of the industry and the opportunities available as we move to a low carbon future. I welcome the commitment that Tata is showing in the highly-skilled workforce employed by JLR in the West Midlands and Merseyside as well as the top-class models it produces.

“Confirmation that the LRX is to be built at Halewood will help to end the uncertainty at the plant, with the added prospect of some new jobs in the pipeline. It’s a testament to the workforce, who have made the plant one of the most productive in Europe. The Government has shown its support for this project with investment of £27 million announced earlier this year. I know that trading conditions are difficult for the car industry as a whole. It is inevitable that we will see further re-structuring across the industry.

“There is global over-capacity and car manufacturers recognise that they have to take some of this capacity out and cut back on their costs. There are opportunities and that’s why we must continue to innovate and lead the way. I welcome the fact that JLR has already implemented a number of proposals to improve its long-term prospects.”

[Source: Birmingham Post]

Clive Goldthorp

About the Author:

Clive claims that his interest in the BMC>MG story dates back to his childhood in the 1960s when the family’s garage premises were leased to a tenant with an Austin agency. However, back in the 1920s and 1930s, his grandmother was one of the country’s first female Garage Proprietors so cars probably run in his genes! Admits to affairs with Alfa Romeos, but has more recently owned an 06/06 MG TF 135 and then a 15/64 MG3 Style… Clive, who was AROnline’s News Editor for nearly four years, stood down from that role in order to devote more time to various Motor Racing projects but still contributes articles on as regular basis as his other commitments permit.

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