Car workers ‘abandoning production lines to defect to Amazon’

Car workers abandon production lines to defect to Amazon, says boss of motor industry trade group

Fears: Mike Hawes, chief exec of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders

Car workers have abandoned production lines to work at Amazon, the head of an industry body has claimed.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said they were lured by lucrative signing-on bonuses. 

The comments highlight the scramble to fill jobs facing UK employers, as vacancies top a million. It comes despite reports of poor working conditions – disputed by the company – at Amazon’s factories and, recently, strikes and job cuts. 

Hawes said: ‘One major manufacturer lost a significant number of their workers to an Amazon factory up the road.

‘They might want to come back in 12 months’ time when they discover what it’s like working for Amazon – but you’ve lost them.’ The SMMT reported a third year of decline for UK car manufacturers.

Just 775,014 cars rolled off production lines last year, 9.8 per cent fewer than the year before and more than half a million fewer than in 2019. It is the lowest since 1956.