Workers at key Jaguar Land Rover supplier DHL have rejected a ‘final’ pay offer of an extra 53p per hour – threatening deliveries of thousands of components.
A consultative ballot by Unite union of up to 1,000 drivers, forklift truck operators and handling staff at Solihull, Castle Bromwich and Halewood has resulted in an overwhelming 97 per cent rejection of the deal.
The pay dispute at the German-owned logistics group, which has been dragging on since last September, now looks certain to boil over into industrial action.
Workers have warned that the ‘formal final wage offer’ of 6.1 per cent, leading to a new hourly rate of £9.16 per hour, falls well short of their demand for an increase to £10.
If DHL refuse to budge, industrial action would jeopardise the deliveries of thousands of parts to Jaguar Land Rover’s factories at Solihull, Castle Bromwich and Halewood at a time of soaring demand for the group’s vehicles.
A DHL worker, who asked not to be named, said: “We are not prepared to accept £9.16 an hour. Land Rover and Jaguar are doing very well and we want a slice of the action; we want to put some extra money on the table.”
He warned any vote for industrial action would threaten the supply of thousands of components. “They would not be able to produce cars because parts would not be going into the plants.”
An internal DHL document says the ‘formal, final’ offer represents 6.1 per cent to all elements of pay. “For those currently earning £8.63 per hour this means a new hourly rate of £9.16 per hour or £357.24 basic pay per week, based on a 39-hour week.”
In a letter to DHL’s human resources department, Ritchie James of Unite union says: “As you can see, our members and your employees have overwhelmingly rejected the company offer.
“Unite remain optimistic that a negotiated settlement can be achieved but to enable this to happen an improvement in the terms of the rejected company offer will be required.”
DHL has declined to comment.