WORKERS AT Peugeot's car plant at Ryton are furious after having their hours increased for no extra pay.
The imposition of the new conditions nearly caused an unofficial walkout recently. Many workers say the mood inside the plant is seething.
Night shift workers have been told to work eight additional hours a week until the new year.
Bob Fenton, a spokesperson for Peugeot, said that workers had 'flexible contracts', meaning that their hours could be increased to meet demand.
He said, 'If they worked for just 24 hours they would still remain on the same amount of pay, and if they worked longer hours they would still get the same pay again. It is not an uncommon practice. It gives us quite a lot of advantages, as it means we can act to meet supply and demand.'
But the decision has been the final straw for many of the workers.
One worker on the overnight D-shift told the Coventry Evening Telegraph, 'Donkeys on Blackpool beach get better treatment than us, and that's true. The money is now less, and we are doing exactly the same hours as we were before it all began in June. They just move the hours around to suit themselves. They don't listen to us and run the place like when it was built.'
In June, company bosses offered the plant's staff a stark choice-either take a pay cut or see the night shift axed.
Workers opted to take a cut. Members of D-shift lost 20 percent-about £100 a week-and eight hours in their working week.
Now the shift is back to working those lost hours but their pay has remained the same.
AROUND 7,000 workers at the Land Rover plant in Solihull, near Birmingham, are voting on whether to strike over pay.
Ford, which owns the company, is using blackmail by saying that a decision to take industrial action would put the future of the plant at stake.
Members of the TGWU and Amicus unions have already voted against a 6.5 percent pay offer by the company-despite national union officials urging its acceptance.
This second ballot is asking if members will strike or take other action to win better pay. The ballots will be counted on Friday of next week.
Shop stewards have recommended not accepting the pay deal on the grounds that Land Rover should have a similar deal to Jaguar, where conditions are different.