NEWS: Jaguar Land Rover bosses pull the rug on pay agreement to keep worker’s wages in line with inflation

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.

Staff would also get a one off £5000 pay out in August 2022, to help ‘combat the immediate cost of living challenges’, although this ‘inflation easing’ lump sum would itself be taxable.

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 protected]

4 Replies to “NEWS: Jaguar Land Rover bosses pull the rug on pay agreement to keep worker’s wages in line with inflation”

  1. It is disgusting the way the union are treating the members we have no faith in them thay have let us down
    The management and pl are still getting the 12%
    Inflation is on going and after tax 5000 is going to be alot less and not even going to make a difference

  2. As someone who’s worked at Solihull for 28 years and always stuck by the union, this pay deal agreement is a complete shambles. It’s us the workers who have done everything asked of us to help the company out since covid. We’ve worked endlessly and hours for this company to keep them going. They now treat us like this. Our union are a disgrace, they are never on the shop floors and hide away, they are always protecting the company over its members. Never have I experienced anything like this in my years there. People are fed up with the company and union lies, they do deals behind our backs and put them to ballot without us even knowing. This company will be making billions and they always only want to look after themselves.

  3. Unite the union are frauds, simply a money making organisation who are in the companies back pocket, making decisions without consultation of the so called members.
    Serious backlash if members are let down again this time.

  4. I am a ex trade union rep and resigned shortly after mick Graham became the conveyor by default after steve gallant retired. No one else wanted the position and mick Graham took over. He is not locked by the shop floor as he is seen as a management lackey, in the joint video posted on you tube we can clearly see he is reading from a company prepared statement and when he says that the trade union wont hold shop floor briefs due to large crowds with the possibility of spreading covid ?????, what uter garbage as we all work side by side on the tracks, it’s just a convenient excuse not to address the shop floor. The guy is a waste of space. He is the only conveynor in the last 38yrs of my employment that does not have the answer machine in the union office switched on. He and the just nod committee ( JNC ) have allowed the company to capitulate on the 2 yr pay deal and we will in fact be taking a pay cut. We have had to put up with the constant changes on the shop floor due to brexit or covid and also the company want to take any hours over a hundred that we have banked but if you are management this will not affect them. Mick graham needs to go ASAP. there are 2 HR departments at solihull, 1 is by the main gates and the other 1 is the trade union office.

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