Tue, May 24, 2011 - Page 10 News List

Honda staff to take more days off over the summer


Honda workers are taking 14 additional days off between next month and August because of manufacturing disruptions caused by parts shortages, but will make up for the car production shortfall later in the year.

Honda Motor Co said yesterday that plant workers will take one extra day off next month, 10 more in July and three in August, and work those days in the latter half of the fiscal year to make up for the shortfall.

Under Honda’s latest move, all production at the Saitama and Suzuka auto plants, and part of the production at the Hamamatsu motorcycle plant, will be shut down for the 14 days.

Separately, Honda has sent a message to workers and their union that employees may be asked to take additional days off in coming months if the parts shortages continue, said spokesman Keitaro Yamamoto. Details have not been decided, he said.

The March 11 earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan damaged hundreds of auto suppliers, forcing Japanese manufacturers, including Honda, to reduce production. Honda has said it doesn’t expect to return to normal levels of production until late this year.

Japanese automakers have already decided to work weekends and take Thursday and Friday off in July, August and September, which are peak months for electricity use in Japan, to avoid blackouts stemming from expected power shortages.

Toyota Motor Corp said yesterday that in addition to its plants, offices in Japan will be closed on Thursdays and Fridays, instead of Saturdays and Sundays, from July 1 through Sept. 30.

It apologized for inconveniencing suppliers, dealers and other business partners, but said it was a priority to work together as a nation toward a recovery from the quake, tsunami and nuclear crisis.

14-day shutdown:

‧ The move will affect all production at the Saitama and Suzuka auto plants, and part of the production at the Hamamatsu motorcycle plant.

‧ More days off may be needed if parts shortages continue.

‧ Employees will have to make up the days off later in the fiscal year.

The government has asked major companies to reduce electricity use by 15 percent.

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