Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) was urged to get back around the negotiating table or face an industrial action ballot today (Thursday 13 November), after members of Britain’s largest union, Unite overwhelmingly rejected the carmaker’s pay offer and pension changes in a consultative ballot.
96 per cent across the company’s five plants rejected the proposed pay deal amid warnings that it fell short of expectations and failed to recognise the workforce’s contribution to last year’s profits of £2.5 billion and this year’s record breaking first quarter profits of £1 billion.
Anger is also mounting over the dilution and threatened changes to the final salary scheme including £240 million worth of pension cuts, despite pension changes to the final salary scheme being agreed with the workforce two years ago.
Elsewhere in the offer, plans for it to take new starters six years to reach 100 per cent pay, or the rate for job, have drawn criticism from the UK’s 14,000 strong workforce along with the introduction of a new bonus payment.
Members fear that the bonus, which isn’t consolidated or pensionable, will gradually replace pay rises that attract company pension payments over the coming years.
12,881 voted to reject the pay offer, with 454 voting to accept and 17 spoilt ballot papers.
Commenting, Unite national officer Roger Maddison said: “The workforce made huge sacrifices and endured pay freezes during difficult times to ensure that Jaguar Land Rover is the success it is today.
“Their hard work, skills and commitment have helped ensure that JLR has become a highly profitable world leader with a bulging order book. With the company making a staggering £10 million profit a day, it is no surprise that the workforce is angered by pension cuts and a pay offer that falls short in recognising their role in that success.
“JLR needs to get back around the negotiating table and hammer out a deal that meets the workforce’s expectations and shares the rewards of the company’s success fairly. Otherwise we will be looking to ballot our members for industrial action across the company’s five sites”
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
Notes to editors:
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.