Workers at Honda’s Swindon factory, which is in the middle of a four-month shutdown, will return to their jobs significantly worse off. The company has announced that line workers will have their pay chopped by three per cent, while managers will face a five per cent cut.

It’s a swingeing cut, especially on top of the fact that Honda workers have ‘banked up’ overtime during the shutdown, which will have to be worked off before they can be paid for any overtime.

So harsh, in fact, that an anonymous line worker said it could add up to £1000 in lost earnings, despite only remaining in place until March 2010.

Which set me thinking. Assuming line worker chappy is right, and is also talking pre-tax earnings, that means a Honda line worker would still be earning well over £30k a year before tax.

Honda says it has had to implement the cuts because not enough people took voluntary redundancy when it was originally offered. No wonder. With unemployment rising and the option of remaining in a relatively secure well-paid job, you can understand why so many Honda workers decided to stay on.

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