PSA and JLR drawn into row over Faurecia’s refusal to guarantee Staffordshire workforce wages

Staffordshire firm Faurecia Interiors is under increasing pressure to commit to registering staff under the government’s job retention scheme, which guarantees 80 per cent of wages, during the coronavirus lockdown, Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Thursday 2 April).

Following repeated attempts to engage with the auto-interiors firm, which has refused to confirm that laid off workers will be registered under the scheme, Unite has contacted Faurecia shareholder PSA and its customer JLR.

The union has asked the car makers to pressure Faurecia ‘into following the example of many other companies in the automotive sector by issuing a guarantee’.

Faurecia, which employs about 400 people at two sites at Fradley in Staffordshire as well as at other locations across the UK, has made no mention to staff that they will be registered under the job retention scheme.

Instead the firm has told the workforce they will be laid off until at least 20 April, during which time they can either take unpaid leave, any remaining annual holiday or be paid in advance using a controversial banked hours scheme that is deeply unpopular with staff.

Unite regional officer Melvyn Palmer said: “Requests by both individual staff and the union for confirmation that Faurecia is intending to register its workers under the job retention scheme have been completely ignored. 

“Meanwhile the banked hours scheme Faurecia seems to be suggesting that staff use instead is completely inappropriate. It will leave people in debt to the company and either working for nothing once operations resume or having to pay a large lump sum when their finances will have already taken a battering.

“The union has now contacted the firm’s shareholder PSA, as well as its customer JLR. We have informed them of Faurecia’s appalling behaviour and asked them to pressure the firm into following the example of many other companies in the automotive sector by issuing a guarantee. 

“Faurecia needs to understand that Unite is not going to let this issue lie and that the union’s actions will continue to build until workers receive confirmation that they will be included under the scheme.”

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