29th Jun, 2022

DHL staff at Jaguar Land Rover will be forced to do extra work after shutdown amid union dispute

Felix Nobes 2nd Nov, 2018 Updated: 2nd Nov, 2018

DELIVERY workers at Jaguar Land Rover will be forced to do extra work after the two-week shutdown in production at the company’s West Midlands sites.

The 4,000 DHL employees based at JLR’s sites at Lode Lane in Solihull, Midpoint Park and Tyre Fort, both in Birmingham, will continue receiving their pay during the shutdown which began on Monday, October 22.

This is due to a ‘banked hours’ agreement struck with major union Unite.

Workers can bank all the hours they would have worked during the shutdown, ensuring they are paid in full.

But they will then have to do extra work to pay those hours back over an agreed timescale.

Unite has accused DHL of approaching pay negotiations for West Midlands staff belatedly and backtracking on previous resolutions.

Under the agreement, Unite says the West Midlands DHL workforce are entitled to bank 100 hours.

But it does not match the superior terms agreed for JLR’s full employees in the region or for DHL workers in Halewood, Liverpool, the union says.

The terms are more flexible at other sites and hours can be paid back over a longer period.

The union says it has accepted an outdated agreement from 2008 with inferior terms for West Midlands DHL workers, which it describes as a ‘temporary measure’.

It will ensure all workers, including those engaged via agencies, are paid during the shutdown.

But the union says it will continue to press for a better deal for West Midlands DHL staff.

Unite national officer Matt Draper said: “DHL must recognise that they need to sit down and enter into proper negotiations which ensure that workers in the West Midlands are not treated in an inferior manner to workers in the north west.

“Unite will now swiftly seek fresh negotiations with DHL to ensure that all workers are treated in the same way for future ‘banked hours’ agreements.

“The workforce have not asked for these shutdowns, they deserve to be treated with respect and the current difficulties must not be used by DHL to seek to achieve a seven-day working week through the imposition of terms relating to when and how ‘banked hours’ are returned.”

A DHL spokesperson said: “DHL has worked with our employees, unions and agencies to ensure that pay has been protected during the two week shut down period at Jaguar Land Rover’s Solihull plant.

“For affected workers, hours have been banked for repayment in the future.”

JLR announced the shutdown amid on-going financial troubles which it has attributed to Brexit confusion, the falling demand of diesel vehicles and China slashing import tariffs.

The manufacturer has just announced a drastic savings plan after news emerged of its latest sales slump this week.

There has also been a customary half-term shutdown in production at JLR’s Castle Bromwich plant this week.

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