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Thursday, 6 September, 2001, 22:05 GMT 23:05 UK
Unipart axes 450 jobs
The company blames the loss on major car contracts
The Unipart Group is to axe 450 jobs after losing lucrative contracts with big name car manufacturers.

Both full-time and contract workers will be affected by the announcement. The jobs will start going from the end of this year.

About 3% of the 10,000 workforce will be cut, all from the company's Oxford operation.

Workers at Unipart's sister operation in Honeybourne, West Midlands, are not expected to be affected.

Component contracts

The job losses will be phased in over six months, leading up to the middle of 2002.

Unipart say the cuts have not come as a surprise to workers, who were informed that jobs could go up to three years ago.

The company has also made it clear that after losing contracts with BMW and MG Rover in 1998, it initially faced having to cut up to 1,500 positions.

Frank Nigriello, corporate affairs director, said that since the contracts were not renewed, company bosses have been working to try and replace them with new ones.

He said: "Since 1998, Unipart has worked very hard to create new business for those people affected by the loss of the contracts.

"And because of that we have been able to reduce the number of job losses considerably."

Job creation

He added that 300 full-time workers will lose their jobs, with the other 150 not getting their personal contracts with the company renewed.

Mr Nigriello also said that in addition to finding new business to help stave off the cuts, a job-creation scheme had been set up to offer workers advice and support for their future.

The Unipart Group was set up in 1987, after a management buy-out of the British Leyland group.

Since then, the company has expanded and diversified in to areas such as health and leisure, and has contracts with firms such as Vodafone and Hewlett-Packard.

See also:

04 Sep 01 | Business
British Airways cuts 1,800 jobs
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Electronics firm cuts 1,000 jobs
29 Nov 99 | UK Politics
'Ethical business' plan unveiled
04 Sep 01 | Business
Marconi axes 2,000 more jobs
04 Sep 01 | Business
Job cuts spark 'payback' threat
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