Ford pay deal will require huge rise in productivity

Ford will have to make huge productivity gains to stay competitive in the light of its new pay deal, car industry personnel directors have warned. The car giant has agreed a three-year package with the trade unions worth at least 11.2%. It has also agreed a 1.5-hour reduction in the working week. Ford personnel director […]

Ford will have to make huge productivity gains to stay competitive in the light of its new pay deal, car industry personnel directors have warned.

The car giant has agreed a three-year package with the trade unions worth at least 11.2%. It has also agreed a 1.5-hour reduction in the working week.

Ford personnel director Bob Hill said the deal would enable staff to concentrate on `best-in-class levels of performance’.

But senior figures in the industry have branded the package `crazy’.

Ford has lost market share and been operating a four-day week for a number of staff at its Dagenham plant during the summer.

Philip Ashmore, personnel director at Nissan, said: `From the unions’ point of view it looks like a very good deal. But the workforce must improve productivity by 4% just to stand still.’

Vauxhall personnel director Bruce Warman said Ford may have to bring in compulsory overtime: `Normal practice is that productivity increases are expected each year. Ford needs to make increases over and above normal improvements. I am sure that will not be easy to achieve.’

Unions have cited the cut in the working week at Ford as the first step in establishing a 35-hour week standard for the industry.

John Robinson writes for Personnel Today magazine