Page last updated at 16:49 GMT, Friday, 6 March 2009

Osborne praises car workers' vote

Shadow chancellor George Osborne
George Osborne spoke to a number of employers in the West Midlands

Shadow chancellor George Osborne has praised Jaguar Land Rover workers' decision to work a four-day week in a bid to save jobs.

Workers also agreed to take a one-year pay freeze when they were balloted by unions over the cost-saving measures.

Visiting the Castle Bromwich plant, Mr Osborne said workers had shown "real maturity" by making the sacrifices.

The car manufacturer offered the deal last month in return for no compulsory job losses for two years.

Based in Gaydon, Warwickshire, Jaguar Land Rover employs about 15,000 people at its sites in Castle Bromwich, Coventry and Solihull in the West Midlands and Halewood, Merseyside.

'Difficult times'

A total of 70% of the Unite and GMB union members accepted the deal earlier this week, which will save the firm 70m a year.

Mr Osborne said: "I think it shows real maturity that this company understands these difficult times and is prepared to make some sacrifices.

"It's now up to the government to live up to its part of the bargain. For months they have been promising help for the car industry - that's still not there."

Mr Osborne, who later spoke about the recession to Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, also echoed the motor industry's calls for the government to get credit flowing again for potential customers.

The government is planning a new drive to help restart demand in the industry next week.

Jaguar Land Rover, which is owned by Indian firm Tata, cut 450 jobs in January.



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SEE ALSO
End 'money for nothing' - Osborne
06 Mar 09 |  UK Politics
Jaguar workers vote on pay freeze
02 Mar 09 |  West Midlands
Jaguar seals 'significant' order
27 Feb 09 |  Business
Jaguar asks staff for pay freeze
23 Feb 09 |  Business

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