Opinion: How Honda made bad news even worse

Honda Swindon factory workers CR-V

The proposed closure of Honda’s Swindon plant is bad news for its 3500 employees – worse still was how they found out

Since the news of Honda’s plans to close its Swindon factory leaked yesterday, two shifts have changed over.

Two sets of workers have gone home, two more sets have arrived at work. Only today have those on the current shift been sent home to deal with and process this ‘shock’ announcement – which they could’ve read every detail about since yesterday afternoon on every major website and in every newspaper in the country.

You may have seen several of them being interviewed through their car windows, or heard them on the radio, and all said the same when asked their reaction to the plant’s proposed closure in 2021: “We don’t know anything. Honda has told us nothing. You know more than us.”

It was actually quite cringeworthy and uncomfortable listening to reporters, who did indeed know more, detailing the precise reasons for the closure and asking workers questions that affected their livelihoods and the futures of their families.

What became clear was that there hadn’t been a word from Honda – a company built on integrity – to its workers, nor the unions that represent them. It was sticking to its plan of making this ‘surprise’ announcement at 8am. And surprise surprise it came, with Honda at last sticking its head out of the sand.

This is the latest blow to manufacturing in the British car industry after recent bad news at Jaguar Land Rover, Ford and Nissan, and the common consensus is that if this uncertainty remains around the UK, the worst is probably yet to come.

If that’s the case, let’s hope the companies involved show a bit more compassion, respect and decency to their workers and others involved than Honda by keeping in the loop those actually affected by these life-changing decisions.

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Source: Autocar Online

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