DHL said it strongly refuted claims being made by the Unite union that management at its plants responsible for the Jaguar Land Rover contract were refusing to address serious safety concerns among workers.
Unite said strike action was now looming at the Halewood site in Merseyside and additional plants across the Midlands because the logistics company “failed to respond to workers’ concerns about being forced to take defective vehicles onto the road.”
It is now preparing to ballot members for industrial action and it threatened that if this went ahead it would cause severe disruption and the plants would grind to a halt.
The row looks likely to sever cordial ties between the union and DHL Supply Chain after an agreement was struck in March to pay the 600 logistics and dispatch workers at Halewood a payment worth 12.5% of earnings to compensate them for the loss of their shift premiums.
The union claimed that instead of dealing with the current safety concerns, DHL was instead victimising and dismissing Unite reps who pursued the matter.
- DHL HGV drivers at Crick site join Unite
- DHL agrees to pay 600 logistics workers at JLR plant for loss of shift premiums
- DHL Supply Chain launches online platform to support staff mental health
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “DHL is guilty of what amounts to union busting. Not only are workers being placed in danger but Unite reps are being victimised when trying to protect our members.
“DHL should take note that unless these matters are quickly resolved then Unite will leave no stone unturned to secure safe work terms for our members and justice for those who’ve been victimised.”
Unite national officer Matt Draper added: “Unite has been trying for weeks to get these matters resolved without success. They are more interested in attacking stewards and ignoring safety concerns. Unless DHL takes the union’s concerns seriously, a ballot for strike action will begin shortly.”
But a DHL Supply Chain spokeswoman said it was surprised and concerned by the union’s claims: “We have not been informed of any intention from Unite to ballot its members regarding potential industrial action,” she said.
“Colleague safety is DHL’s utmost priority and we strongly refute the claims being made.
“We will be urgently communicating with our Unite representatives to establish more detail about the claims.”
The post Ballot for strike action at JLR plants on the cards following safety claims appeared first on Motor Transport.