The Coronavirus pandemic has had a far-reaching negative impact on the world. Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their lives and just as many people have lost their jobs. Not only has this pandemic effected people’s health but it’s also had damaging affects on global economies. Due to the latter, the MINI Oxford plant must sadly cut back hundreds of jobs, as it changes its pace on production.
Back in March, the MINI Oxford plant halted production altogether, due to pandemic lockdowns and social distancing. While production picked back up in May, global demand and sales for MINI have plummeted from the pandemic. Because of that, MINI has had to scale back production dramatically, moving from three shifts to two, which has forced the British icon to cut hundreds of employees.
“Like other automotive manufacturers, our volume forecasts for 2020 have had to change accordingly” said Human Resources Director Bob Shankly. “We have, therefore, made the difficult decision to adjust our shift patterns at Mini Plant Oxford from October.
“This will give us the flexibility we need to adapt our production in the short to medium term, according to developments in global markets.
This isn’t a decision that MINI takes lightly and it’s one that’s painful to make. However, MINI has said that it’s done everything possible to keep as many employees on as it could.
“Our decision has been made after close discussion with trade union representatives and we are aware that our plans will have an impact on people during an uncertain and worrying time” said Shankly. “We have sought to protect as many jobs as we can, while also taking the necessary steps to ensure the stability of our business in light of this current period of volatile and unpredictable market conditions.”
Of the 950 employees currently working at the MINI Oxford plant, 400 will lose their jobs. In a joint statement, Anneliese Dodds, Labour MP for Oxford East, and Susan Brown, leader of Oxford City Council expressed their apologies for the loss of jobs. In addition, the statement claimed “While the plant is very productive, unfortunately the Covid-19 crisis has posed major difficulties for the automotive industry and the ills afflicting industry world-wide are impacting the plant here, too.
“We will both continue to work with BMW Cowley to do what we can to ensure the future of the plant and to protect local jobs.”
These are trying times for all of us and seeing so many layoffs and job losses can be disheartening. Hopefully the industry can get back on its feet and these people can find jobs again soon.