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Workers vote to take a cut; INDUSTRY: Pay decrease and shorter hours at factory.

WORKERS at the LDV Vans factory in Birmingham have agreed to a 10 per cent pay cut and a shorter week under plans to save the plant from closure.

No vehicles have been built at the site since before Christmas after a huge slump in global van sales and there has been speculation that the factory could close with the loss of 850 direct and thousands of indirect jobs.

Plans for a management buyout were detailed at a mass meeting at the plant today.

Erik Eberhardson, who is leading the management buyout, said important steps would be taken over the next few days to ensure the success of the management buyout, which has to take place to secure the funding of the business.

The company said in a statement: "The LDV workforce were consulted about the management buyout plans and accepted a proposal to reduce pay by 10 per cent across the entire workforce, to support the management buyout.

"On behalf of the management buy out team, Erik Eberhardson sends his sincere thanks to the employees for their commitment at this difficult time to the new business.

"The LDV management team would also like to thank the suppliers, dealers and all other business partners, for their considerable help and support in the past few weeks."

Mr Eberhardson said: "This latest news is one of a number of steps being taken to improve the business plan for potential investors. I am now more confident than ever that the management buy out is the best solution for LDV, the economy, the workforce and all LDV's valued business partners."

The management buyout team said it wanted to restart production on Monday April 6, starting at 200 vehicles a week.

Employees will be on a three day week, working from 7am to 5.30pm, with hopes of increasing production to 250 vehicles a week.

If this level is not achievable, the firm warned it would have to discuss job cuts with the unions.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Mar 4, 2009
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