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Jaguar unions give evidence to Commons committee

Transport and General Workers Union general secretary Tony Woodley and Amicus national officer Tony Murphy have been called to give evidence this afternoon to the House of Commons Trade and Industry Select Committee on Ford’s plan to shed over 1,100 Jaguar jobs and end car production at the Browns Lane plant in Coventry.

The unions will say that the company have offered no real reasons for the cuts and the effective closure of Browns Lane is in contravention of two Ford agreements specifically guaranteeing its future as a manufacturing plant.

Ford Premier Automotive Group management has been called to give evidence to the Trade and Industry Select Committee later this month.

In an interview on Monday, Jaguar chairman and CEO Joe Greenwell told The Financial Times that the planned closure of Browns Lane in autumn 2005 would not prevent a further two years of substantial losses for Jaguar. PAG’s restructuring plan does not forecast break-even before 2007.

Revenues from export sales to the US have not been protected by currency hedges since earlier this year, and demand for Jaguar models in its biggest export market has been below expectations – and Jaguar management has reduced its annual sales target of 200,000 units to 120,000.

Greenwell denied union suggestions that the remaining plants and engineering facilities could be at risk.

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