DHL staff vote to strike at Jaguar Land Rover

PRODUCTION at Jaguar Land Rover’s Merseyside factory could grind to a halt after staff working for logistics firm DHL voted for industrial action.

The JLR plant at Halewood has 4,500 staff making the Evoque and the Freelander but assembly depends on 1,000 DHL workers who deliver parts around the site.

Union Unite said 86% of DHL staff voted in favour of action yesterday. This followed a vote by 75% of staff at Jaguar’s plants in the West Midlands last week. A strike date has not been set and negotiations are continuing.

DHL said Unite wants a 12.8% pay rise over two years for employees who sort parts and 20.6% for drivers. DHL said it had offered staff a 4.5% pay rise for 2013, plus a guaranteed 3% for 2014.

A DHL spokeswoman told Reuters: “Detailed contingency plans are in place to minimise disruption to the customer (JLR) and we strongly urge the union to reconsider its reckless action and give a clear message to our customer and employees that Unite supports UK growth.”

A JLR spokesman said: “Jaguar Land Rover is disappointed that Unite members have voted in favour of industrial action. We encourage them to return to the negotiating table to reach a satisfactory outcome for all parties as soon as possible.

“We will put several measures into place to minimise the impact of any potential industrial action upon our production schedule and ultimately our customers.”