Only a few days after stating all was well at their Sunderland plant, Nissan announced today that 160 jobs are now at risk. They confirmed that they are starting a consultation process with office-based staff. Although they say it will not affect production, this news is in stark contrast to their positive statements of last Friday which led Boris Johnson to boast of the “fantastic news for the brilliant Nissan workforce”. Not so amazing for the office staff though as it turns out.
The MP for Washington and Sunderland West, Sharon Hodgson, stated that she was very concerned to hear this news and calculated it to be a near 18% reduction in its office-based workforce. She also added that she had been told that “these reductions are not related to either Covid-19 or Brexit impacts.” However as discussed in my previous article “are things really so rosy for the Nissan plant in Sunderland?” it is not Japanese corporate culture to rock the boat where politics are concerned.
With high unemployment in the North East already and new jobs hard to come by, especially due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this will be devastating news for the individuals involved if redundancies are indeed delivered. Sharon Hodgson has said that she will be speaking to Nissan and the unions about this as a matter of urgency.