The vehiclemaker Vauxhall is consulting staff and unions about cutting its shift pattern from three to two because of a reduction in the availability of semiconductors.
The BBC’s seen a letter sent to staff which suggests that more than 200 jobs are at risk. It’s being blamed on the knock-on effects of the pandemic, specifically the global chip shortage.
The computer chips needed for connected cars are in short supply and Vauxhall managing director Paul Willcox said last month that the car industry would be facing a “problem” for months.
The BBC report notes that during the first lockdown there were big cuts in vehicle production but when companies began to ramp up output again, they found supplies of semiconductors had been taken by other industries which were experiencing a sales boom.
Modern vehicles can have hundreds of chips so the shortage has forced car manufacturers to curtail production.
The report adds that Vauxhall said it had concluded the nightshift “is no longer viable” and while it had looked at restricting recruitment, overtime and agency staff, it “currently appears that it will, regrettably, be necessary to reduce staffing levels”.
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