Scunthorpe firm, International Automotive Components has been accused by Unite, the country’s largest union, of ‘stonewalling’ over talks about 45 potential job losses.
Although the union, which represents about 135 staff, is recognised by the Park Farm Road company, the management has refused point blank to discuss the proposed redundancies with union officials.
Unite regional officer Richard Bedford said: “This company is one of Scunthorpe’s largest employers and the fact that it is refusing to discuss potential job losses, announced at the end of August, shows a lack of respect for the employees who may be affected.
“It is stonewalling and hiding behind the fact that although we are recognised as a legitimate union with 35 per cent of the workforce as members, it is not the 51 per cent required by strict interpretation of employment law to be involved in the consultations.
“But this is just pedantic nit-picking when you are dealing with people’s lives and futures – and we call on the management to start discussions with Unite as a matter of urgency with a view to avoiding compulsory redundancies.
“The hidden agenda here is that the company is still hiring agency workers and it is feared that the agency staff will be kept on with inferior terms and conditions rather than the permanent employees who will be forced out.
“It goes without saying that Unite will have involvement at some stage, but it would be more advantageous for all concerned to have a proactive approach from the outset rather than having to unpick the mess at the end.
“If this stonewalling continues and Unite is not invited for consultations, we will consult with our members on what action they wish to take to resolve the situation – and this could include a ballot for industrial action.”
The International Automotive Components is a leading global supplier in the automotive sector of injection moulded interior car parts and supplies to car giants, such as Jaguar Land Rover, Renault, Rolls Royce and Toyota. It has sites in the UK at Coleshill (Warwickshire), Halewood and Sunderland.
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble in the Unite press office on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940.
- 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.