London: Car maker Jaguar Land Rover, is in talks with unions over company-wide pay cuts to avoid further layoffs at its three main UK sites, even as the company is seeking an additional £1 billion loan facility from the UK government, a media report on Sunday said.
The Sunday Times said that union leaders have been offered a “menu” of possible changes to pay agreements in return for a pledge by the company to keep staff at work.
JLR, owned by India’s Tata Motors has already laid off several hundred temporary and white-collar staff and is thought to be considering cutting up to 1,500 more jobs if sales do not revive quickly.
The company chief executive David Smith told the newspaper that the support package announced by business secretary Lord Peter Mandelson last week would do little to revive demand before March, traditionally an important month for UK car sales.
“What we have been trying to impress on Mandelson is that it doesn’t address the urgent nature of the problem,” he said.
Smith said, “Tata has already put in significant amounts of additional funding, but what we can’t access is normal commercial facilities. Like a lot of large companies rolling over existing loans, we are finding it difficult to get refinancing - it requires the government to put in loan guarantees to do that.”
The government announced a £2.3 billion package, guaranteeing loans of up to £1.3 billion to car and component companies with a further £1 billion in loan guarantees from the European Investment Bank. But Smith needs more. “No, it’s not fully what we wanted,” he said.