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Honda's Swindon 'threat'

Honda has implicitly warned workers at its Swindon plant that it may pull out of the UK if there is no satisfactory solution of the on-going 2003 pay wrangle.

According to a report in The Times today, the Japanese carmaker – forced into talks with ACAS today – has warned that the plant would have to be more efficient, reminding unions that the company has accumulated £390m losses in its 17 years in the UK.

The pay offer of 2.7 per cent with an extra 0.5 per cent of the wage bill to be distributed on a merit basis, has been linked with a plan to increase the retirement age to 62 in order to help plug a £40m hold in its pension fund.

Union Amicus wants a bigger pay offer – but the membership is divided over the retirement age issue. With a larger pay offer, some may be happy to raise the retirement age. Ryland has disposed of certain assets and the business operations of its Mercedes-Benz van operations in Stockton-on-Tees and Spennymoor, Co. Durham to Bell Truck Sales Limited. The sale included net assets amounting to £0.4mfor which consideration of £0.6 million was received in cash. In the year ended 31 December 2001, the businesses reported profits before tax of £194,000. Honda has implicitly warned workers at its Swindon plant unions that it may pull out of the UK if there is no satisfactory solution of the on-going 2003 pay wrangle.

According to a report in the Times today, the Japanese carmaker – forced into talks with ACAS today – has warned that the plant would have to be more efficient, reminding unions that the company has accumulated £390m losses in its 17 years in the UK.

The pay offer of 2.7 per cent with an extra 0.5 per cent of the wage bill to be distributed on a merit basis, has been linked with a plan to increase the retirement age to 62 in order to help plug a £40m hold in its pension fund.

Union Amicus wants a bigger pay offer – but the membership is divided over the retirement age issue. With a larger pay offer, some may be happy to raise the age.



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