Unite the union has today (Friday, 1 April) confirmed that its membership at Mahle Engine Systems will take part in a new industrial action ballot in a dispute over pay, terms and conditions.

The Kilmarnock-based plant makes high-quality components for motorsport engines, combustion engines and electric vehicles.

As real price inflation (RPI) reaches 8.2 per cent, Unite’s members have overwhelmingly rejected (by 88 per cent) a two-year deal of 5.5 per cent pay for 2022 and possibly 5 per cent in 2023.  The deal would mean potentially two years of wage cuts as living costs are set to rise.

The Mahle workforce is demanding at least the actual level of inflation as measured by the RPI.

The ballot opens on 1 April and closes on 19 April.

Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said: “Unite’s members at Mahle have made it very clear they will not accept this pay offer, which fails to match the cost of living. Based on the strength of their rejection, the company would be wise to come back with a revised offer.

 “The workforce has our full support in fighting for better jobs, terms and conditions at the plant in Kilmarnock.”

Unite industrial officer, Paul Bennett added: “We have been through a long process with the company including talks at Acas, which resulted in some progress. However, the fact remains that Mahle are still offering our members a significant real terms pay cut with minimal guarantees going forward to next year. Mahle need to quickly make our members an acceptable offer or industrial action is inevitable.”

The workforce rejected a pay offer of 5.5 per cent for this year, and 3 per cent next year with a further increase of up to 2 per cent paid as a lump sum in the event that CPI is higher than 3 per cent.

The rejected offer also included the reinstatement of a Lay-Off Agreement which provides for the first 10 working days of Lay-Off in any 13 week period to be paid.

Last month, Unite and Mahle Engine Systems resolved a separate dispute over holiday entitlement provisions and contractual clauses when there is a shut down at the plant down for two weeks at any given period.


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