Nissan's unions unfazed by jobs cut

Nissan's unions unfazed by jobs cut

High plant use rates give workers confidence

Nissan's Thai labour unions are confident they will not suffer from the Yokohama-based parent firm's cost-cutting plan. Patipat Janthong
Nissan's Thai labour unions are confident they will not suffer from the Yokohama-based parent firm's cost-cutting plan. Patipat Janthong

Nissan's two labour unions in Thailand are not worried about Nissan Motor Corporation's announcement to cut 12,500 jobs worldwide, saying two car plants in Samut Prakan have high use rates and sell to both local and overseas markets.

In yesterday's announcement, Nissan also said it will reduce global production capacity by 10% by the end of fiscal 2022.

Bangkok Post contacted the two labour unions at Nissan's plants on Bang Na-Trat Road KM21 and they insist the cost-cutting plan will not affect Thai operations.

A source said Nissan has two labour unions, Siam Nissan Labour Union for the passenger car plant and Nissan Motor Thailand Labour Union for the pickup plant.

A leader for the Nissan Motor Thailand Labour Union said the workload at Nissan's plants in Thailand is very healthy, with the company normally opening applications for voluntary early retirement every year for older workers.

"Roughly 30 workers aged 50-60 apply for this scheme every year," said the leader, who requested anonymity.

The leader said Ramesh Narasimhan, the newly appointed president for Nissan Motor Thailand, will meet employees at its manufacturing site in Samut Prakan on Aug 1.

"We are waiting for his announcement and clarification about the news, but we believe plants in Thailand will maintain their employee level," the leader said.

Nissan's manufacturing in Thailand has an annual production capacity of 295,000 vehicles, making the Navara, Teana, Terra, Note, Almera, March, Sylphy and X-Trail models.

"Nissan plans to make 190,000 vehicles by the end of fiscal 2019, ending next March. Roughly 120,000-130,000 units are for pickups, while the remainder is allocated to passenger cars," the source said, adding the sentiment for sales and exports are both very healthy.

Both plants have roughly 4,000 workers, of which 30% are an outsourced workforce.

"We are opening hiring for new outsourced workers because our production has two shifts now," said the source.

In Thailand, Nissan sold 72,394 cars in 2018, up by 21.2% from 59,709 in 2017.

According to the industry report, Nissan posted sales of 34,577 cars during the first half, up by 3.38%, with sales making up a 6.6% market share.

Nissan set an ambitious target to achieve a double-digit market share by the fiscal 2020.

Nissan also won Board of Investment (BoI) privileges last July to invest 10.96 billion baht to produce a hybrid version using e-Power technology.

In January, Nissan was granted BoI incentives for a project worth 470 million baht to assemble batteries for its own e-Power cars.

Nissan has applied for the BoI's incentives for battery EVs.

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