Honda workers told to take time off

Honda workers told to take time off

Honda workers are taking 14 additional days off during June through August because of production reductions caused by parts shortages, but will make up for those days later in the year.

Honda said today that plant workers will take one extra day off in June, 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 car 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 north eastern Japan damaged hundreds of car suppliers, forcing Japanese manufacturers, including Honda, to reduce production.

Honda has said it does not expect to return to normal levels of production until late this year.

Japanese carmakers 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 said today that in addition to its plants, offices in Japan will be closed on Thursday and Friday, instead of Saturday and Sunday, from July 1 through September 30.

It apologised 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.

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

The quake and tsunami hobbled the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, sending three reactors into meltdowns.

The Hamaoka nuclear plant is also being shut down because of safety fears, further crimping energy sources.

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