NEW YORK TIMES
Workers at Jaguar P.L.C.’s Coventry plant in central England have voted to go on strike over plans to increase production, a union spokesman said today. Members of the Transport and General Workers Union and the Amalgamated Engineering Union voted by a 2-to-1 ratio to go on strike after Easter in the British luxury car maker’s first important dispute in three years, a transport union spokesman said. ”We are striking over management’s attempts to increase production without increasing payments,” he said. There was no immediate comment from Jaguar.
Jaguar workers voted yesterday to strike over management plans to boost production by another 92 cars a week. A secret ballot of 4,000 workers was almost two to one in favour of a stoppage at the Browns Lane luxury car plant in Coventry from April 6. Company bosses say increased production is necessary if Jaguar is to stay competitive in the U.S., its main export market.
But TGWU leaders claim there has not been enough consultation over the plans, due to take effect after Easter. If the strike goes ahead it will be Jaguar’s first major stoppage for three years. And that would also be bad hews for workers who, since 1984 has shared in the profits.
Jaguar faces strike over plans to speed up production
By Paul Hoyland
Four thousand Jaguar car workers in Coventry yesterday voted by two to one to strike if the company speeds up the production lines after Easter. Mr Keith White, the convenor at the Browns Lane assembly plant, claimed there had not been proper consultation about the company’s intention to increase production from 48,000 to 56,000 cars a year, a move the union says would affect overtime.
He added that there was time to resolve the dispute and the unions were prepared to meet the management at any time. If the strike went ahead it would be Jaguar’s first major dispute in three years. Jaguar denied it was intimidating the workforce and said it would continue discussions with the union’s prior to the Easter holiday.
“We are hopeful the matter can be resolved,” said a spokesman.
“During last year we did take on an extra 1,000 people and manned ourselves-up to produce 1,300 cars a week. We believe that for the vast majority it will be within their capabilities to produce more cars and they will receive an extra bonus of £12.50 a week.”
The move follows a 20 per cent drop in profits to £97 million last year because of the weak dollar.
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