[QODLink]
FOCUS: GLOBAL RECESSION
Luton: Meet the locals
Read about the impact of the financial crisis on an English car-manufacturing town.
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2009 12:19 GMT

Luton's future is uncertain as car-manufacturing suffers amid global downturn [GALLO/GETTY]

Al Jazeera is following the effects of the global recession on five towns across the globe - find out more about how residents are coping.

Mohammed Motlib, 35-year-old worker at Vauxhall car plant

Mohammed Motlib has just bought a house
Mohammed's been working in the car industry in Luton since he was 16-years old.

He started as a trainee with Vauxhall.

The company is now part of General Motors which is pressing the UK government to take a stake in Vauxhall as part of a rescue plan for the car-manufacturer's European operations.

Mohammed, now 35, and his wife, Sufia, have a five-year-old daughter and a six-year-old son. They have also recently bought a house.

Global recession: Downtowns

 Riches ebb and flow in Kenya resort
 UK car town in a jam?
 US town puffed out by recession
 Carving out hope in Egypt

Mohammed believes the Luton plant will keep going, but since late 2008 he has been working reduced hours, whereas before he used to earn overtime.

While he is looking around to see what other jobs he could do, he cannot envisage working anywhere else.

"We're like a small family there," he says.

Ghulam Rasul, 64-year-old businessman

Ghulam Rasul can no longer afford to hire staff
Ghulam came to Britain from his native Pakistan in 1962.

He is now 64-years old and, along with his wife, he runs a clothes and fabrics shop in Luton.

When he first started out, he says, things were easier because although he had no capital he was able to get credit.

Ghulam says that during the recent credit crunch the price he pays for his imported materials has jumped so much that where once the shop used to hire staff, they can no longer afford to.

Your views and media

How has the global recession affected your community?

 Send images and videos
 Send us your views

His shop is in Bury Park which has many Asian businesses.

Ghulam says the family-based nature of those businesses has made them more resistant to the current downturn.

However, he has seen several shops shut down in the area. 

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.