Millennium Post

DHL staff strike may halt Tata Motors’ JLR production line in UK

Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover production line in the United Kingdom may grind to a halt within weeks after delivery workers from DHL voted for strike, demanding a large pay rise and similar terms and conditions on par with the JLR staff. The staff of logistics giant DHL, which has about 1,800 workers at JLR's three main factories - 1,000 between Castle Bromwich and Solihull in the Midlands and 800 at Halewood, Merseyside, perform a key role in managing warehouse operations and bringing parts to production lines.

‘The fear is that production could stop within a matter of hours without parts reaching the line,’ a source told a daily. DHL staff often work side by side with colleagues on better-paid JLR contracts and are demanding a large pay rise to put them on similar terms and conditions. Unite, their trade union, balloted DHL workers at JLR's two plants in the Midlands last week and about 74 per cent voted in favour of taking industrial action. Those at Halewood are due to vote on Monday and a similar outcome is expected.

According to the newspaper, DHL has offered a 4.5 per cent pay rise in the first 12 months, starting from January this year plus a 3 per cent or inflation increase next year. But this is short of the demand from Unite, which wants a 12.8 per cent rise over two years for workers who sort car parts and bring them to the production line plus a 20.6 per cent rise in the period for drivers. JLR is not involved in the dispute as far as executives are concerned but any intervention could spark secondary action from their own staff, many of whom are also members of Unite.

Any shutdown may dent JLR's position as the UK’s top exporter of manufactured goods. Sales of its luxury cars in China, Russia and the USA have boomed in the past two years, and it is today one of the most profitable carmakers in the world. 
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