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Fragile economy could hit Halewood Jaguar Land Rover staff, Lecturer warns

A Liverpool Hope University lecturer has warned that the UK’s fragile economy could cause further difficulties for workers at Jaguar Land Rover's Halewood plant.

The car manufacturer announced on Thursday that it wants to cut 4,500 jobs from its 40,000-strong UK workforce in a bid to save £2.5bn.

Management, marketing and administrative roles are expected to be hardest hit, with the impact on production staff – such as those in Liverpool – still unclear.

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) build their successful Range Rover Evoque at the Halewood plant, which employs around 4,000 people directly and 2,000 agency staff.

Speaking about JLR’s issues with China sales, diesel cars and Brexit, Tony Bradley, a lecturer in Social Economy at the Liverpool Hope University Business School, said “dark days” could be on the horizon for workers.

“What this opens up is the media-managed opportunity to move production to lower cost Asian facilities; to streamline their management tiers in the UK, which had become bloated during the good times; and avoid the needs of dealing with some of the harder Brexit issues,” he said.

“What, perhaps, also, needs to be taken into account is the news from the TUC and BofE on Monday that the debt-savings ratio is at an all-time negative point. In others words, the next crash is just over the horizon.

“In that context deciding to move “off-shore” may not be exactly happy days – but it isn’t the worst set of decisions for JLR management to have needed to make – unless, of course, you’re one of the Halewood workers.

“For them, I fear, the dark days have only just begun.”

Published on 14/01/2019