Page last updated at 13:24 GMT, Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Aston Martin cuts 'unacceptable'

Aston Martin
Aston Martin blamed the cuts on the economic downturn

A union says it has not ruled out industrial action over Aston Martin's "unacceptable" plans to cut 600 jobs.

The luxury car firm, based in Gaydon, Warwickshire, said it needed to cut 300 full-time and 300 temporary jobs because of falling sales.

Des Quinn, from the union Unite, said it would consult members following a meeting between union officials and firm managers.

The company has said the cuts resulted from "extraordinary market conditions".

'Less than helpful'

At a meeting at the company's headquarters in Warwickshire, union officials questioned managers about their plans for the workforce.

The union, which has expressed concern about the scale of the job cuts, told managers it opposed any compulsory redundancies.

Unite officials are to consult their members later this week.

Mr Quinn said industrial action had not been ruled out over the job cuts.

"At this moment our message to our members is the company's position is less than helpful, it's unacceptable and we will be going to them to consult them on what the way forward could be."

He added: "We believe that Aston Martin is a good business, it's certainly not broken, it's got a good long term future.

Sales down

"It's a good brand and it's hitting a short-term difficulty as everyone else is.

"We don't believe there's a need for compulsory redundancies."

The firm, which employs 1,850 people, announced last month it would extend its Christmas break at its plant in Gaydon, Warwickshire, by two weeks until 19 January.

Aston Martin sold 110 cars in the UK in October compared with 164 in the same month last year.

Sales last year were 7,300 but are expected to be 6,500 this year.

The firm's chief executive Ulrich Bez said earlier in December he was confident the Aston Martin brand was the strongest it had ever been.

"We remain well positioned for the upturn in the economy," he said.



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