Jaguar bosses hit back at their critics; We have kept everybody informed, says statement.
JAGUAR bosses have hit back at claims that they did not carry out proper consultation over plans to stop making cars in Coventry.
Union bosses, government ministers and Coventry city councillors have all criticised Jaguar for its handling of job losses at the Browns Lane plant.
A debate was held at the Labour Party conference this week to discuss the plight of up to 1,150 Jaguar workers. Trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt said Jaguar should listen to any alternatives put forward by the Browns Lane workers.
T&G general secretary Tony Woodley called Jaguar management incompetent, and Coventry Labour councillor Ann Lucas accused the Ford-owned luxury car maker of breaking promises about the future of Browns Lane.
But Jaguar has denied keeping the workforce, MPs and unions in the dark.
In a statement today, a spokesman said: "Jaguar remains committed to keeping all stakeholders fully informed about its business situation and recovery plans, as it has since identifying that its situation had become unsustainable and needed urgent attention.
"In August, chairman and chief executive Joe Greenwell took the unusual step of talking to every employee in a series of in-plant meetings, at which the business situation was outlined in detail.
"When announcing our plans for the restructuring of Jaguar on September 17, we made a point of briefing the unions first. We also offered to meet with union representatives for further discussion and to consult with them on an ongoing basis as we work our way through our recovery plan, and we have written to the union national officers reiterating this invitation.
"Later in the same day, Joe Greenwell personally briefed local MPs. And last week, when the MPs accompanied employee representatives to the Paris show, Mark Fields, Ford's most senior executive based in Europe, broke off from and missed the crucial Ford Focus launch event in order to meet with the MPs.
"We have also met with the chief executive and other representatives from Coventry City Council and will have further such meetings.
"The actions we announced on September 17 were not taken lightly and were unavoidable, but the company has made great efforts to minimise the number of manufacturing jobs lost and to ensure the required restructuring is achieved on a voluntary basis and in a way that is sensitive to the issues faced both by our employees and the local community."
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|Publication:||Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)|
|Date:||Sep 29, 2004|
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