Automotive assembly contractor VFS workers wage deal amounts to a pay cut

Workers employed at the south coast firm VFS Southampton Ltd, who assemble large vehicles for Ford and Mercedes, have announced strike action in a dispute over pay.

The workers, who are members of Unite, the UKs leading union, voted overwhelmingly for the action in March after VFS imposed a pay award of less than four per cent. 

At the time the real rate of inflation (RPI) was running at 7.8 per cent but has now reached 11.7 per cent. Industrial action was previously postponed to allow for negotiations.

However, an ‘insulting’ revised offer put forward by the company in June was overwhelmingly rejected by the membership. 

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “VFS has put forward an insulting pay offer that is in fact a real terms pay cut. Unite defends our members’ jobs, pay and conditions and our VFS membership will have the unions full support during these strikes.”

The workers will stage 24 hour strikes on 27 and 29 July and 2, 4, 8, 10 and 12 August. If the dispute is not resolved more strike action will be scheduled.

During the strikes, picket lines will be in place at the companys Chickenhall Lane factory in Eastleigh, Hampshire.

Unite regional officer Scott Kemp said: “Industrial action was postponed in good faith to allow negotiations to continue. A new offer was tabled that completely failed to meet the expectations of the workforce. There is still time to avoid strikes, and the resultant disruption it will cause VFS clients’ Ford and Mercedes, but that will require a substantially improved offer from the company.”


For media enquires ONLY contact Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215.

Email: [email protected]  

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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.