Honda finalises closure of its plant in Swindon

May 13, 2019   OEM

After around three months of consultation with Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, Honda announced that it failed find a viable alternative which could prevent the closure of its plant in Swindon. Around 3,500 employees currently work at this plant in South West England.

Earlier this year, the Japanese auto-maker had announced its plans to cease the production of its popular model, Civic, at the plant which would eventually lead to the closure of the plant altogether. However, this decision was met with lot of dissent among the workers and the government.

 

Hundreds of employees of the plant had carried out protests following this announcement while the government also sprung into action announcing a £16 million ($20.96 million) programme to support the automotive supply chain in the country. 

 

Honda said that it had started preparing redundancy packages for the employees. The carmaker plans to shut down the facility by 2021, when the current models being produced at the plant reach the end of their production cycle. 

 

Unite described Honda’s decision to press ahead with the closure of its Swindon plant as a ‘body blow of betrayal.’ They maintained that the closure of Honda Swindon would threaten the livelihoods of over 15,000 direct Honda employees and workers in the supply chain.

 

Unite national officer Des Quinn said: “We await the detailed reasons from Honda, but Unite believes that our alternative case to keep Honda Swindon open added up and was likely to be backed by the government with public money. It would have made Honda a global leader in emerging battery technology and in a strong position to exploit the growing global market for electric vehicles in the coming years.”

 

“Unite can only conclude that Honda is taking a strategic decision to retreat out of Europe in favour of protecting its North American operations and avoiding president Trump’s tariff threat on cars made in Europe. Unite will be consulting with its members on our next steps in the coming days,” he added.

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