DHL has pledged to redeploy some workers after it was revealed up to 2,200 jobs could be axed at Jaguar Land Rover.
The logistics firm confirmed there would be a “restructuring” of its contract with the car make due to the unforeseen impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The proposed redundancies will affect all of Jaguar Land Rover’s major factories in the West Midlands and the North West, including Solihull, Castle Bromwich, Ellesmere Port, Halewood, Hams Hall, Midpoint and Tyrefort.
Around 2,200 workers are under threat, according to the trade union Unite.
That reflects as much as 40 per cent of the entire workforce employed by DHL at the car maker, who are the logistics partners to Jaguar Land Rover.
Unite said DHL has not given a firm date about when the redundancy process will be completed but has indicated that half of the job losses are a result of a decline in car production and half are as a result of anticipated “efficiency savings”.
DHL said it was consulting with employees and Unite representatives.
The company said it would redeploy as many workers as possible to other operations across the UK.
A spokesman for DHL Supply Chain said: “In light of highly challenging trading conditions in the global automotive sector and the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to restructure our linefeed and freight operations supporting the Jaguar Land Rover contract.
“This is in line with future volume forecasts and forms part of the optimisation and efficiency initiatives that have been driven by both organisations in recent months.”
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The spokesman added: “We are now in consultation with our employees and their representatives and will make every effort to redeploy as many colleagues as possible to our other operations nationwide.
“We would like to thank our colleagues for their understanding at this extremely difficult time and stress that this proposal is based solely on the commercial challenges affecting the global automotive sector, and in no way reflects on the service levels delivered on the contract in recent years.”
Unite said it would try to ensure the number of job losses are kept to an ‘absolute minimum”.
Unite national officer for logistics Matt Draper said: “Unite has not yet received any details of how DHL intends to make 50 per cent of the proposed redundancies through efficiency savings but we are making abundantly clear to DHL that they will not be able to force these workers to undertake impossible workloads as they show other workers the door.
“While DHL is the employer, the reality is that the workers perform their roles for Jaguar Land Rover.
“Jaguar Land Rover has a moral duty to ensure that workers are treated fairly and decently during this incredibly difficult and stressful time.
“DHL must not attempt to make permanent full-time staff redundant while continuing to outsource work to sub-contractors.”