NEW YORK TIMES
The Rover Group, the British car maker, announced today that it planned to eliminate distinctions between its 35,000 salaried and hourly employees. Under the arrangement, shop workers will no longer be required to punch a time clock and will receive the same sick pay, catering services and flexible holiday schedule as white-collar workers.
Rover, a subsidiary of British Aerospace P.L.C., also plans more flexibility in work procedures to emphasize teamwork. Further, it wants to consolidate the trade unions into a single negotiating body for all workers.
As a long-established and formerly state-owned company, Rover deals with many labor unions and labor agreements that can impede productivity. New Japanese companies in Britain have been able to negotiate single-union representation.
In return, Rover promised job security, adding that jobs would be cut only through retraining, reassignment, voluntary severance and early retirement programs.