Saturday, 6 September 2008

Worrying times at Bentley

It was very concerning to hear yesterday's news that 1,400 Bentley employees will be reduced to a 3 day working week because of a downturn in sales.

I spoke to the Chair of the Works Committee last night and expressed my concern and support. I was impressed with the deal the unions had negotiated some years ago to help members deal with short-time working. Instead of their wages taking a hit they maintain income through a system of banking hours, which is some comfort to those affected.

Let us hope that things don't get as bad as they were in the early 80s when I started as an apprentice at the Crewe site. At that time the company had just made 1,500 redundant and the apprentices were told that they may be finished after their first year. Fortunately we were allowed to complete our apprenticeships.

It seems that the management think the current situation is a short-term difficulty and the company will continue to go from strength to strength.

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