Words & pics by Ed King
Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) workers are set to lose a previously promised pay rise of 12.2% – despite company bosses agreeing the inflation led increase would be in place for two years.
In an ‘update on pay discussions’ letter sent to all JLR workers, the Joint Negotiating Committee – made up of JLR representatives and members of Unite the Union – explained how the car manufacturer had been ‘severely impacted by supply chain constraints’ and must renege on the previously agreed deal.
The letter continued to explain how the automotive giant was ‘not delivering the profit we need to reinvest in our business’ and how the previously agreed pay rise would add an ‘unbudgeted cost of £118m into the business this year and over £600m in the next five years.’
It further stated: ‘no business… can simply absorb such a cost’ and JLR were now forced to ‘find alternative ways to cover this shortfall’ – including pulling the rug on ‘reasonable and affordable pay increases for our colleagues each year.’
In place of the previously agreed and approved 12.2% pay increase, established to keep worker’s wages in line with consumer inflation, JLR bosses are now offering a 6% pay rise – at about half of the rate of consumer inflation.
Unite the Union, who represent the JLR workers and make up part of the Joint Negotiating Committee at Jaguar Land Rover, issued their own letter to members following ‘a number of meetings’ to challenge the cut.
In a move by Unite many found frustrating, the union told their members how JLR were ‘not in a good place financially’ and put the fate of the pay deal down to an open ballot – with workers set to vote on Monday 11 July.
The internal memo from Unite, signed ‘in solidarity’, further explained: ‘We (Unite) have stressed how disappointed we are with this approach and that you, the most important people’, will have to be balloted.’
And whilst it was not clearly confirmed in the letter to workers from the Joint Negotiating Committee, the letter from Unite ended by saying:
‘The Company have stated that this (is) their final offer and there is no negotiation.’
But many JLR workers are now feeling let down by both Jaguar Land Rover bosses and Unite, with social media messages calling on them to ‘flood’ the trade union with messages explaining ‘how disgruntled we are with our dire representation.’
Rumours are also circulating about a vote of no confidence against the union at one of the JLR plants, although Erdington Local could not confirm this at the time of writing.
One JLR worker, who wished to remain anonymous, told Erdington Local:
“People are fed up with the company pleading poverty all the time. The unions are so out of touch with their members it’s got to the point where we are cancelling our membership.
“We were promised an inflation based pay rise so the agreement made previously should be honoured. It’s not our fault it’s into double figures.
“If I was a representative of the union, I would be asking the company why they can afford to make numerous managerial positions available and also paying agency workers £30 plus per hour to get customers cars ‘out of the door’.
“The ballot on Monday should not be even happening.”
Workers at Jaguar Land Rover are set to vote on the revised pay agreement from JLR on Monday 11 July.
If you work at Jaguar Land Rover or have been affected by any of the issues mentioned in this article, and want to tell us your side of the story, please email: email@example.com