THOUSANDS OF Land Rover workers in Solihull are set to take industrial action from Monday of next week.
The action, a continuous overtime ban, comes after union members voted by two to one to strike over pay. The workers, members of the TGWU, Amicus and GMB unions, are angry about their two-year pay deal. It gives them just 3.5 percent this year. It does not address the pay gap between Land Rover workers and workers in Jaguar.
Both companies are owned by Ford. Workers at Jaguar are on different pay grades, with some earning up to £20 a week more than Land Rover workers.
The Land Rover workers in the two big unions-TGWU and Amicus-showed they want hard-hitting action. The TGWU members voted by 2,432 to 1,183 for a strike. The Amicus members voted by 942 to 688 for a strike.
Union reps should not drag their feet over turning this vote into a strike. The director of manufacturing, Steve Coultate, resorted to threats as soon as the ballot result was released. He even warned the plant could close.
Yet a meeting of union reps on Monday gave their response to those threats. They announced action before Christmas with the overtime ban and from Monday 5 January workers will withdraw their flexible working time arrangements. That means they will be working a maximum of 37 hours a week, not the system of annualised hours.
A Land Rover worker told Socialist Worker, ' I'm not surprised at the result. There's a lot of disgruntlement. The action that's already called will certainly have an effect.'