A COMPANY owned by Honda is to axe 233 full and part-time jobs – more than a third of its staff.

Some 600 people at SDC’s four Swindon plants, including its head office at South Marston, were told about the redundancies yesterday and now must wait while a 90-day consultation is carried out.

Workers spoke of putting ‘Christmas on-hold’ after the 10am meeting which will see 97 temporary staff go within the upcoming months and 135 permanent employees expected to be let go in the upcoming year.

An unamed worker who alerted the Advertiser to the company’s plans, said the staff were gutted by the plans which come in the run-up to Christmas.

He said: “I have no idea how I am going to pay my mortgage let alone Christmas for the kids.

“At the moment Christmas is on hold – we can’t buy anything so that is the result.

“My wife and I are very worried.

“We all feel let down and hard done by and worried about the future.”

However, the firm, which handles, holds and delivers car-parts for Honda, says about 90 per cent of its business is tied to the car-firm and so it must act based on the condition of the industry.

Steve Gopal, the company’s general manager, said the proposal to make employees redundant would be ironed out with the unions and staff councils to see what, if anything, could be altered and who would go.

He said: “After looking at decisions taken by Honda we have looked at the proposal in detail and decided 135 permanent positions be made redundant. We have acted on the information we have and weighed up all that has happened over the past few months.

“I can imagine that it is difficult to digest.

“But it is beyond our control and is as a result of the world economy.”

Jim D’Avila, from company’s union Unite, said he feels a lot worse for SDC employees than Honda’s because they won’t have the availability of voluntary redundancies.

He said: “We have our first consultation on Thursday and over the next 90-days we will be working with everyone involved.

“We want to look at the options but there aren’t many. Industrial action is not available to us anymore because there is just no work.”