No job losses at Jaguar plants: Tata to British MPs

June 10th, 2008 - 4:47 pm ICT by IANS  

By Dipankar De Sarkar
London, June 10 (IANS) India’s Tata Motors will not only keep existing jobs going at Jaguar’s research base in the northern British towns of Whitley and Gaydon, it may even hire more workers, a local MP said. Jim Cunningham, who represents Coventry South for the ruling Labour Party, told a local newspaper he was given the assurance by visiting Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata at a special meeting in the House of Commons, the lower house of parliament.

Tata’s comments, reported in the Coventry Telegraph, will help further calm any lingering anxieties following Tata’s acquisition of the iconic British carmakers Jaguar and Land Rover - a deal that was signed Mar. 28 and concluded June 2.

Although Britain’s largest workers’ union Unite as already declared itself satisfied with Tata assurances on more than one occasion, Cunningham told the newspaper he asked Tata “outright” if the firm had any plans to relocate to India or sack workers.

He said Tata replied the future of the Whiley and Gaydon centres are secure until at least 2012.

“Mr Tata confirmed that there were not plans to move any of the UK plants and that no redundancies were planned. Instead, they will be increasing the workforce in the research areas.

“They’re going to keep Whitley and going to keep Gaydon. They are very impressed by the skills at Whitley.

“What they may be doing - and I don’t want to exaggerate this, because they still haven’t produced a business plan - is in certain areas, because they are impressed by skills, they will, for limited projects, employ more people.

“That means they will keep work in the Midlands rather than farming it out to India,” Cunningham added.

A fresh business plan will then be drawn up in 2012.

The paper said others at the meeting included opposition Tory party chairwoman and Meriden MP Caroline Spelman and Pensions Minister Mike O’Brien but did not say when the meeting took place.

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