Socialist Worker

Brexit didn’t drive Jaguar cuts

Issue No. 2622

The Jaguar Land Rover factory in Birmingham

The Jaguar Land Rover factory in Birmingham (Pic: David Lally)

One thousand Jaguar car workers in the West Midlands are to be put on a three-day week.

Due to the way shift premiums work this will mean, despite management promises, a cut in take home pay for workers.

Ralf Speth, chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), claimed a no deal Brexit would lead to tens of thousands of job losses.

He said the firm would have to divert production to low-cost manufacturing plants in eastern Europe. Various politicians dived in to say this is what leaving the European Union (EU) means.

But car manufacturers use these threats constantly to keep productivity up, regardless of Brexit.

The workers affected are those on the production line of the Jaguar XE, a diesel car. It was supposed to sell 100,000 a year.

It sells just a third of that, not least because of plans to raise taxes and phase out diesel engines.

Some nine out of ten cars Jaguar makes for the domestic market are diesel.

JLR has already cut 1,000 agency workers this year, mainly at its Range Rover plant in Solihull.

Other motor manufacturers are doing the same as overproduction in the industry pushes a race to the bottom in workers’ conditions.

Brexit is the not the cause of the problem. The solution is not to stay in the EU but to resist the bosses’ attacks.

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