UPDATE: Swindon Honda job cull 'devastating blow', say union
Union leaders have said today's news of up to 500 job losses is a 'devastating blow' to the industry and the country.
Honda have said it will enter into consultation on a proposal to reduce the workforce by 340 permanent production employees and 160 temporary workers.
As well as moving from three shifts to two shifts, production will be consolidated on to one line, to "improve production flexibility and efficiency" while production volumes continue at the current level.
This means Plant Two will close and prodcution will centre on Plant One.
Honda has been manufacturing cars at Swindon since 1992 and currently builds the Civic, Civic Tourer, CR-V and Jazz models for the UK and European markets.
Tony Murphy, national officer of the Unite union, said: "These job losses are a devastating blow, not just for these workers but for the thousands more across the industry whose work is dependent on the Honda plant.
"Today's losses are also a wake-up call to the UK Government. The economy is far too fragile to proclaim a recovery - those workers losing their jobs today will find claims that the country is turning a corner an insult.
"The truth is that there is simply no pick up in the incomes of Honda's customers, either here or in the eurozone. People are not confident and do not have the cash to spend. That is something which must give the Government serious cause for concern.
"Decent, skilled jobs are being lost today and investment is being withdrawn, which is ringing alarm bells and putting the remaining workforce in fear for their future. We cannot allow workers of this expertise to be dispatched to the dole queue - the country needs their skills if we are to power our country back to economic health.
"Unite is determined to do all we can to save these jobs and skills. It is vital that the Government joins us in the fight for manufacturing."