Mike Stevens | Mar 12, 2009

Cutbacks and setbacks: the news from just about every car manufacturer at the moment is less-than-positive. That's what happens when consumers slam their wallets shut.

For Toyota Motor Europe, the story is no different.

This week, Toyota has announced that staff at its two UK plants will have their working hours and pay cut by 10 percent. The reductions will take place from April 1st and are scheduled to last for one year, affecting 4500 workers.

While generally pleased with the agreement (considering the alternative), unions were quick to add that no cutback should be taken lightly.

"Skilled workers will remain in place and at work ready for when the upturn comes," Unite union representative Peter Tsouvallaris said.

toyota-assembly-prius

Toyota has so far managed to avoid forced redundancy for its workers, although has cancelled a night-shift at its Auris (Corolla) production line in Burnaston. The plant will also undergo a four-week production shut down during 2009.

Some 200 temporary jobs have already been cut, and Toyota has offered a voluntary redundancy scheme for employees who wish to take it.

Senior vice president of Toyota Motor Europe, Graham Smith said in an interview that Toyota would, wherever possible, try to retain its skilled workforce.

"That has tremendous value for a company like Toyota, we have to be ready when the upturn comes." Mr. Smith also reinforced Toyota’s global reputation. “We have in no region in the world, in no manufacturing plant, made any large scale forced redundancies."

The company announced previously that annual pay increases and management bonuses will be scrapped.

[BBC]

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