Diesel workers vote to strike over pay

STAFF at an engineering plant in Sudbury have voted to strike in a row over pay.

STAFF at an engineering plant in Sudbury have voted to strike in a row over pay.

Members of the Unite union at Delphi Diesel Systems voted 83% in favour of strike action after they were balloted on a 2.5% pay offer.

The union says it represents about 600 of the 850-strong workforce at the site, which makes high precision diesel injection components. It informed management of the outcome of the ballot at a meeting yesterday .

Unite is calling for a wage rise in line with inflation, running at 4 to 4.2%, without strings attached.

The company, a multinational whose headquarters are in Michegan in the USA and a global supplier of mobile electronics and transportation systems, said it had no comment to make at this time on the strike threat.

“We are issuing the company 28 days' notice of industrial action,” said senior Unite shop steward Paul Brewster.

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“Obviously, if they don't respond within another offer within those 28 days, we'll be taking action.”

The union was pleased with the outcome of the ballot, he said.

“We are pleased that the membership has supported us. It's an insult to the workforce with the rising prices. I know a lot of these are outside the company's control, but 2.5% is a derogatory offer. Despite Delphi's position in America, the actual business we are in, diesel systems, is doing very well,” said Mr Brewster.

The union had rejected an offer of 3.5% with strings attached, he said. Staff were looking for an inflation rise, he added.

“Obviously, they are feeling the pinch like everything else and 2.5% is a wage cut, it's not a wage increase.”

Shop stewards met yesterday to discuss the outcome of the vote and later met with management when they delivered the result.

“At present, it's in the company's hands, basically. We are willing to talk with them at any time, he said.

“We would like inflation. That's what we are asking for without strings.”

Steve Coppock, human resources manager at the Sudbury site, said: “We only got the ballot result this morning, so we have no response today.”