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