2,200 jobs at risk in Jaguar Land Rover supply chain

More than 2,000 workers involved in Jaguar Land Rover's supply chain are facing redundancy.

DHL provides logistics services for car giant Jaguar Land Rover
DHL provides logistics services for car giant Jaguar Land Rover

All the affected staff work for DHL on its logistics contract across the UK with the luxury car manufacturer.

The proposed redundancies affect 2,200 – nearly 40 per cent of the entire workforce employed on the contract – and are a mix of full time, salaried and agency staff.

It comes as the automotive industry in the UK is in crisis following the coronavirus lockdown with car sales having plummeted.

Sales of Jaguars were down 41.7 per cent and Land Rovers by 27.7 per cent last month on a year before.

JLR said that it was informed last month that DHL was going into consultation on redundancies with some of its workforce.

The cuts will fall on all of JLR’s major factories in the North West and the West Midlands including Castle Bromwich, Hams Hall and Solihull. They do not affect the engine manufacturing centre at the i54, Wolverhampton, where another company has the contract.

A spokesperson for DHL Supply Chain said: “In light of highly challenging trading conditions in the global automotive sector and the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to restructure our linefeed and freight operations supporting the Jaguar Land Rover contract. This is in line with future volume forecasts and forms part of the optimisation and efficiency initiatives that have been driven by both organisations in recent months.

"We are now in consultation with our employees and their representatives and will make every effort to redeploy as many colleagues as possible to our other operations nationwide.

"We would like to thank our colleagues for their understanding at this extremely difficult time and stress that this proposal is based solely on the commercial challenges affecting the global automotive sector, and in no way reflects on the service levels delivered on the contract in recent years."

Unite national officer for logistics Matt Draper said: “This is a massive, bitter blow for a dedicated workforce – and on the eve of the Chancellor's speech underscores the urgency of need for jobs-saving action from the Government.

"Again, while governments in Spain, France and Germany are acting swiftly to secure a future for their car manufacturers, we see no such ambition from the UK Government and as a result jobs are going.

“Unite has not yet received any details of how DHL intends to make 50 per cent of the proposed redundancies through efficiency savings but we are making abundantly clear to DHL that they will not be able to force these workers to undertake impossible workloads as they show other workers the door.

“While DHL is the employer, the reality is that the workers perform their roles for JLR. JLR has a moral duty to ensure that workers are treated fairly and decently during this incredibly difficult and stressful time.

“DHL must not attempt to make permanent full-time staff redundant while continuing to outsource work to sub-contractors."

Unite says that it will work to ensure that the eventual number of job losses is kept to an absolute minimum.

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