Nissan staff help drive £235m boost at plant

Employee
consultation at car maker Nissan was vital to increasing the productivity of
the Sunderland plant and contributed to securing the £235m deal to make the new
Micra.

The
investment at the plant will safeguard at least 1,300 jobs and create up to 500
new positions over the next three years.

To
secure the investment, the plant focused on improving productivity in the plant
and overcoming the economic disadvant- ages of manufacturing outside EU
countries not using the euro.

Employees
in consultation with management, including senior HR figures, agreed to a new
24-hour working system. This was instrumental in increasing volume from 330,000
cars this year to 500,000 in future.

Nissan
confirmed that the productivity of the workforce was a key factor in securing
the contract for the new Micra.

As
well as the productivity of the workforce, Nissan’s president Carlos Ghosn
cited the £40m government grant as an important influencing factor.

"This
is great news for the Sunderland workforce. One reason why Sunderland secured
the new Micra contract was the introduction of the 24-hour working shift
pattern," said Mike Judge, former personnel director for Peugeot.

The
Sunderland operation will maintain a workforce of 5,000, making Nissan the UK’s
largest car manufacturer.

By
Karen Higginbottom

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