Jaguar Land Rover workers write to Tata Group’s chief Cyrus Mistry on job safety

By: | Published: December 5, 2015 6:53 PM

The UK-based workers of Tata Motors' owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) have written to the company chief Cyrus Mistry seeking assurances on their job safety...

The UK-based workers of Tata Motors’ owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) have written to the company chief Cyrus Mistry seeking assurances on their job safety amid reports that Tata Steel UK plans to dispose of one of its units in the country.

The letter from a workers’ union chief to Tata Group chairman Mistry calls for assurances that redundancies similar to the ones announced by Tata Steel recently are not planned for the automotive firm in the future.

“We have watched with increasing concern as the news unfolds that Tata Steel UK intends to dispose of its Scunthorpe plant. As automotive workers we know that this industry still relies heavily on steel to manufacture components and vehicles in the UK,” reads the letter signed by Unite union head Ken Smit.

“The world’s best steel is produced by UK plants, by our Tata colleagues, and we are proud to use it in a number of the vehicles we produce,” it said.

The workers call for Mistry to “ensure that this relationship can endure” and that “steel automotive components used by JLR in the UK and the vehicles we make using steel here should use British-made steel”.

Tata’s UK steel plants are thought to be the largest suppliers of steel to JLR, but only little of the output from the Scunthorpe operation is used in the automotive sector.

The UK steel industry has been hit by falling demand in the wake of the financial crisis, global overcapacity in the sector and high energy costs in the UK, leading to Tata Steel cutting more than 2,000 jobs so far this year and announcing the closure of two plants.

However, Tata group firm JLR has fared far better since Tata Motors bought it over in 2008.

“We continue to use high performance, specialist steel supplied by Tata Steel in the UK and that is not affected by the recent announcements. Like all other independent businesses, we make our own purchasing decisions based on the right commercial reasons,” a spokesperson for JLR was quoted as saying by ‘The Daily Telegraph’.

“We supply high performance automotive steels to Jaguar Land Rover which are manufactured at our UK plants. We value Jaguar Land Rover’s efforts to develop local supply chains,” a Tata Steel spokesperson added.

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