GB Terminals’ cuts on jobs and overtime terms prompts Sheerness docks strike ballot
- Tuesday 23 November 2021
Volkswagen imports will be in jeopardy if strike goes ahead.
Imports of Volkswagen (VW) Group vehicles, which include Audi, Porsche and Skoda, have been put at risk after Sheerness docks’ employers, GB Terminals, threatened jobs and overtime terms.
Unite said today (Tuesday 23 November) that the ballot for strike action will take place between 25 November and 9 December. More than 50 workers will be impacted by the job cuts and changes to minimum overtime hours.
The Unite workers process and drive VW Group vehicles off ferries arriving in Sheerness dockyard so they are ready to be picked up by car transporters for onward delivery.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “These attacks on jobs and terms are being put forward just as GB Terminals is rebidding for VW’s Sheerness docks contract. Obviously, GB Terminals is now trying to cut its operating costs by unscrupulously targeting its own workers’ jobs and conditions.
“Unite will not stand by and watch our members’ jobs, pay and conditions being attacked. If our members in Sheerness vote for strike action, they will be supported by their union in their honourable fight for jobs, decent wages and conditions.”
The union also called on VW not to renew its contract with GB Terminals if it continues to force through the plans.
If GB Terminals contract with Volkswagen is not renewed, employees would transfer to a new employer under Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) with all terms and conditions protected.
Unite regional officer Phil Silkstone said: "GB Terminal’s behaviour towards its Sheerness staff is motivated by greed not need. Volkswagen has a reputation to uphold and will not be pleased that one of its contractors is behaving in such a manner.
“If GB Terminals does not drop these plans, Volkswagen should not renew their contract and instead find another provider who can TUPE over these workers on the same terms and conditions.”
For media enquires ONLY contact Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215.
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Unite is the leading union in the UK and Ireland, dedicated to defending and improving members' jobs, pay and conditions. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.