Steane Klose | Feb 17, 2009

BMW's MINI brand had some success during 2008. Now however, with sales stalling in a stalling global economy, and a long road ahead before any likely turnaround, the company is being forced to match production with showroom demand for the stylish retro 'brick'.

Little surprise, then, that BMW has announced production and job cuts at its main UK production facility in Cowley, Oxford. In total, 850 workers will be let go, while all weekend work has been cancelled as BMW looks to tighten its belt.

Work at the Cowley plant will begin again on the 23rd of February and shortly after a new roster will be implemented, changing shift patterns from a three-shift seven-day week to a two-shift five-day week instead.

mini_assembly_cowley

BMW has also announced that it has identified 150 surplus employees at its Swindon plant, but that these workers would be offered a transfer to Oxford.

There's been some uproar over the cuts, as workers were given just an hour’s notice of the job cuts. However, standard practices do not apply in this case as the employees in question were all temporary contract workers provided by employment agencies (though some had been working there for years).

It seems the industry is experiencing a cycle of "another day, another round of job cuts and production slowdowns".

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