A PACT between unions and management at crisis-hit Jaguar Land Rover has staved off the threat of compulsory job losses for two years.
The agreement on cost cuts safeguards the jobs of hundreds of hourly-paid workers at JLR plants at Solihull, Castle Bromwich and Halewood on Merseyside.
The deal, which marks a major step towards industrial peace at JLR, will now be recommended for acceptance in a ballot of about 12,000 workers during the next three weeks.
Dave Osborne, national car industry secretary for the Unite union, said: “We have reached a temporary framework agreement to offset costs in order to avoid the need for any compulsory redundancies.
“We are hopeful that our members will vote to accept this deal on the basis that it is a temporary agreement for two years which will give the company time to get through this very difficult period and come out of it stronger.
“These have been very difficult negotiations and at the forefront of our minds has been the need to save the jobs of our members. We are in a crisis here through no fault of our own. The workforce has been a huge asset to the company in the past and will continue to be so in the future.”
Neither unions nor management have revealed details of the cost-cutting programme. But it is known the unions rejected attempts by management to scrap holiday bonuses, banked hours at Land Rover, lay-off pay provisions and reductions in sick pay, shift premiums and overtime.
JLR said: “Following several meetings between the company and trade unions, agreement has been reached on a number of proposals to reduce costs and avoid compulsory redundancies at Jaguar Land Rover.”
It added that there was an urgent need to cut costs in the light of the credit crunch and a large drop in sales.
JLR is pressing for a government loan guarantee of up to £1 billion to free up credit facilities for would-be customers.