Vehicle production at Jaguar Land Rover’s Halewood car production line could be halted after more than 150 workers voted to strike over job and pay cuts, Unite the Union has claimed.
The staff, who produce dashboards for the British OEM and are employed by US-owned International Automotive Components, voted 100% in-favour of strike action following threats to axe 89 jobs and reduce wages by 19%, the union said.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said IAC’s plans were “opportunistic” and a “money grab” by IAC, which she described as a business whose finances are “more than healthy”.
IAC recorded global revenues of £2.4 billion in 2021, including £221 million from the UK.
Graham said: “It is clear these plans are an unnecessary money-grab against staff, put forward because they mistakenly think the workforce is vulnerable.”
Around 3,700 people at Halewood, assembling the Range Rover, Evoque and the Land Rover Discovery Sport models.
IAC’s Unite-represented workers at the site now are demanding that all redundancies are voluntary and that their pay is not reduced.
The dates for strike action will be announced in the coming days, Unite said.
Unite regional officer Mike Gaskell said: “Strikes will undoubtedly cause disruption to JLR’s production but that is entirely the fault of IAC for shamelessly attacking our members’ jobs and pay.
“The company needs to give cast iron guarantees that any redundancies will be voluntary and take the needless reduction in pay off the table.”
A spokesperson from JLR said: “Discussions with our supply partners are ongoing as we work closely to confirm support requirements. We encourage both parties to return to the negotiating table to reach a satisfactory outcome for all involved as soon as possible.”
The proposed strike action on Merseyside is a further headache for JLR following its November announcement that it was cutting production at its Solihull and Halewood plants amid supply chain issues.
The OEM is aiming to prioritise its production of high value models in a bid to mitigate the impact of the issues during Q1.
In a Q4 trading update, JLR suggested that its supply issues were easing, however, and that demand for its products remained buoyant.
A statement issues by the OEM said: “The company continues to see strong demand for its vehicles.
“As at December 31, 2022, the total order book increased to 215,000 client orders, up around 10,000 orders from September 30, 2022.
“Demand for the New Range Rover, New Range Rover Sport and Defender remain strong and represent 74% of the order book.”
AM has approached IAC for comment.