Jaguar Land Rover production could halt due to a possible strike at a key supplier.
The labor dispute is over wages and what the Unite union has described as “union busting” at a company called International Automotive Components in Halewood, Merseyside.
The supplier manufactures dashboards exclusively for Jaguar Land Rover, which also has a factory in Halewood.
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It is unclear whether a strike at International Automotive Components could halt production at the carmaker’s other British car manufacturing plants in Coventry – in Solihull and Castle Bromwich – or just Halewood.
Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery models are built in Halewood.
Any impact on production from the automaker, which is also trying to cope with the constraints imposed by the global shortage of semiconductors, would be a blow.
More than 160 Unite members, employed at International Automotive Components in Halewood, are being voted for strike action over what Unite described as a “low” wage offer.
Voting for the strike closes on Thursday, February 24.
The vote was called after workers rejected a two-year wage deal – 2% in the first year and 3% in the second – well below the current retail price index (RPI) of 7.5%.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “A management change at International Automotive Components has led to an anti-union stance and attempts to play hardball in wage negotiations to undermine collective bargaining at the site.
“Virtually the entire workforce of International Automotive Components in Halewood are members of Unite and their jobs, wages and conditions are this union’s top priority.
“If our members decide to go on strike because of this low wage offer, it would not only shut down the factory, but also production at Jaguar Land Rover.”
Mike Gaskell, regional manager for Unite, added: “Due to the short working hours on site, workers have swallowed cuts to their weekly wages of between 25% and 35%.
“Now International Automotive Components has turned around and offered a pathetic wage offer that doesn’t even come close to rising the cost of living.
“Our members’ anger over this and the company’s hostile and dismissive attitude towards collective bargaining means we have no choice but to vote for a strike, which would significantly disrupt both International Automotive Components and Jaguar Land Rover.”
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