The management at New Holland Tractor Ltd in Basildon, Essex has been urged to get around the negotiating table, after the workforce overwhelmingly rejected an improved pay offer.
The 460-strong hourly paid production workforce – members of Unite, the country’s largest union – will start a 36-hour strike starting at 11.45 on Thursday (22 October) until midnight on Friday.
There has already been three days of strike action at the Cranes Farm Road site.
Unite regional officer Jo Jaques said: “We have a strong mandate from our members to go back to the negotiating table who overwhelmingly rejected the new offer. We urge the management to take up this offer of talks.
“The management needs to realise that the cost of living in the south east of England is higher than the rest of the country, particularly when it comes to housing costs. Wages should reflect the realities of the local economy.
“Also, tractors have become more technical and sophisticated in recent years and this has meant increased skilled work by our members which also needs to be mirrored in their pay packets.
“This is the first time in 14 years that this dedicated workforce has taken this type of industrial action which underlines the importance that they place on the issues at stake.”
The offer that was rejected was two per cent for 2015 and 1.5 per cent for 2016. There was also an improvement in pay when tractor production was not taking place which would have meant workers receiving 60 per cent of their pay for 20 days a year, instead of the current five Any days on top of that would attract 55 per cent pay, up from 50 per cent.
The company is owned by the Italian car giant, Fiat.
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.
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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.