Honda closed another day as storms delay deliveries
Updated 4:41pm Thursday 9th January 2014 in By Elizabeth Mackley
CAR giant Honda’s Swindon factory has been forced to shut down for another day tomorrow after bad weather delayed deliveries of parts.
The factory near South Marston halted production on Wednesday when container ships delivering components used to build the cars struggled to cross oceans churned up in the bad weather.
The hostile conditions delayed many shipments through Europe, including to Southampton where the parts will need to be delivered before coming on to Swindon.
Despite the delays, normal production is expected to resume on Monday.
A Honda spokesman said: “The parts are on a container ship which has been delayed due to bad weather along its route in the UK.”
The closure is also not expected to severely impact on Honda profit margins, with workers recovering the lost time – and pay – over the next few weeks.
The spokesman added: “The interruption will not affect customer orders as the factory will recover the lost production over the course of the next few weeks.”
Many of the workers on the factory’s production lines were sent home as a result of the hiccup but it will not have a huge impact on Honda’s 3,000 workers thanks to an agreement between the car manufacturing company and workers’ union, Unite.
Jim D’Avila, Regional Officer for Unite, said: “What we have in place is an agreement with Honda since 2009.
“In 2009 in the middle of the recession Honda decided to close the factory for three months and stop production because they were producing 200,000 or so cars a year and they weren’t being sold.
“We drew up a Working Time Agreement which means if there is a reason to close the factory then the workers will still be paid.
“Then if at other times some time in the future they need more people to work they can make up the hours then. They won’t be paid again for it because they have already been paid, but it means that their wages are protected.”
Rosemary Wells, spokesman for the Swindon Chamber of Commerce, said: “I’m sure this sort of thing is happening all over the country because of the weather, which must be affecting a large number of businesses.
“Let’s hope they can come to some solution soon.”