UNION OFFICIALS at Ford have been forced to hold another meeting over the pay deal because of the level of complaints about the recent ballot. Workers voted by a majority of just 1,320 to accept the deal. But all the Dagenham plant rejected the deal, and other plants are not happy with how the ballot was conducted. Over 3,000 workers did not vote.
As a result national TGWU official Tony Woodley has not signed the deal. The Ford unions' national negotiating committee was to meet again this week. A Ford worker said, 'This is good. The close vote, despite a union recommendation to accept, shows how out of touch the national officials and most of the convenors are. The best we can hope for is a reballot, but that gives us time to campaign against the deal. It is only just becoming clear to people what the strings will mean, and that not all workers will benefit from the cut in the working week.'
A WALKOUT by workers on the nightshift at Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port plant on Merseyside took place on Thursday of last week. Fork lift truck drivers, who transport car parts to the assembly line, were angry when a management promise of two days overtime was given to another shift at the last minute. The drivers, members of the TGWU, were relying on the extra money before Xmas. So they responded with a two hour stoppage, bringing the whole factory to a halt.
Workers elsewhere in the plant were delighted! One said, 'We were very happy. There was absolutely nothing we could do. No one else can drive the trucks, and we can't assemble anything without the parts. Management hastily cobbled together a meeting, and now we're all waiting for the outcome.'