Staff in wait for job news

This Is Wiltshire: Honda workers are waiting to hear whether they still have  job Honda workers are waiting to hear whether they still have job

WORKERS at Honda supplier South Marston Distribution Centre will find out later this week whether the car maker’s decision to axe 500 staff will cost them their jobs.

Last Tuesday Honda announced it would move from a three-shift to a two-shift pattern at its South Marston base and cut 500 jobs in the process.

At the end of last week, South Marston Distribution Centre, which employs 720 people, came under fire from temporary staff for failing to make an announcement on the future of its own operations as a result of the Honda news.

Steve Gopal, a director at SDC, has assured workers information will be revealed at the end of this week.

The organisation, based at the Keypoint Development in Thornhill Road, only received information of Honda’s decision on Wednesday.

Mr Gopal said: “Since then we have been working out exactly what the impact will be.

“It’s working out what the impact is going to be in our operation. We let our associates know everything we do. We have been very good in making sure our associates are kept up to speed.”

Last week the Adver received several calls from temporary staff working at the centre through Pertemps, complaining of a lack of information on their futures.

The agency workers felt Honda’s decision to cut 160 temporary positions included their own roles in Thornhill Road, but this is not the case.

“The numbers announced affect Honda only. We have got to consider the separate, knock-on impact for our staff,” said Mr Gopal.

“It takes time for that news to digest and in the meantime we have been issuing a holding statement.

“We are employing 720 people, who are a mixture of permanent and temporary workers.

“It’s an operation that holds, sorts and ships parts. Our associates work on ours’ and Honda’s site.”

In January 2013, SDC axed 370 agency positions two weeks after Honda announced it would cut 800 jobs from its core workforce of 3,500.

At that time SDC employed 970 associates and exclusively cut back on its agency staff.

The temporary workers in question had been working at the centre for six months, having been taken on to meet Honda’s step up in production. There were hopes those positions would be made permanent.

As a part of its 2014 announcement, Honda also said it would drop down from two production lines to one, with the second left idle for the time being.

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