Page last updated at 18:20 GMT, Tuesday, 3 March 2009

LDV Vans workers take 10% pay cut

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LDV workers react to pay cuts

Workers at the LDV Vans factory in Birmingham have agreed to a 10% pay cut and three-day week in an effort to save the firm.

The decision was taken at a mass meeting at the Washwood Heath plant where details of a management buyout plan to save the company were unveiled.

Up to 850 jobs have been under threat since the production line was halted before Christmas.

The company said it had been hit by a downturn in worldwide van sales.

The meeting was attended by union leaders who have been involved in talks.

Bonuses cancelled

Managers have said they want to restart production on 6 April, starting at 22 vehicles a week, if the buyout is successful.

I am now more confident than ever that the management buyout is the best solution for LDV
Erik Eberhardson, buyout leader

Staff would work from 0700 GMT until 1730 GMT and managers hope production could increase to 250 vehicles a week.

But managers warned if this level was not achievable it would begin talks with unions about job cuts.

Erik Eberhardson, buyout leader, said he hoped to return salaries to normal levels eventually but this would not be during 2009.

All bonuses have also been cancelled.

Mr Eberhardson added: "This latest news is one of a number of steps being taken to improve the business plan for potential investors.

"I am now more confident than ever that the management buyout is the best solution for LDV, the economy, the workforce and all LDV's valued business partners."

Earlier this month, the government turned down a bid by the firm to secure up to 30m in a bridging loan, prompting Russian parent firm, Gaz, to warn that hundreds of jobs were at risk.

A spokesman for the Unite union said the firm was in a "serious" situation.

"We are still looking for the government to provide short-term funding while a longer-term solution is found," he said.



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