Jon Griffin, Birmingham Post, 5th June, 2009
Night shifts are being reintroduced for thousands of workers at Land Rover’s giant Solihull factory in a major vote of confidence in demand for new models. The first signs of a potential fight back from the recession for the Midlands’ biggest factory emerged as Land Rover revealed night shifts originally axed last September were back in use.
The return of double-shifts at Lode Lane will see around 3,500 workers enjoy a boost to their gross pay of around £260 a month in the teeth of the worst recession to hit the car industry for 40 years. With vehicle stocks now back to levels acceptable to management, JLR bosses are reinstating night shift working for employees on the Discovery, Range Rover and Range Rover Sport lines.
Range Rover production returned to double-shift working earlier this week while the night shift will resume for Discovery and Range Rover Sport models from Monday June 15, it was revealed. The moves, ahead of anticipated strong demand for new upgraded versions of all three models, were described as a “positive step” by JLR spokesman Mark Foster.
This is great news for the shopfloor and great news for the business. It’s a tremendous boost for people who will get night-shift premiums back.” Bob Nason, Plant Convenor
“We are in line with our business forecasts. Although sales are lower than they were this time last year, in terms of what we expected, we are bang on. This has got to be a positive step – it is really about getting the balance right. We have seen our production volumes stabilise, although at lower levels than last year, and we have worked through the stock, so that stock levels are where we expected them to be, and we can return to double shifts on these models.”
The return of night shift working at Lode Lane was revealed as new vehicle registration figures showed a continuing slump in demand in car sales across the UK. However, with major new upgraded products now boosting output once again at Lode Lane, the reintroduction of night shifts was warmly welcomed by Unite union leaders.
Plant Convenor Bob Nason said: “This is great news for the shopfloor and great news for the business. It’s a tremendous boost for people who will get night-shift premiums back.”
[Source: Birmingham Post]
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