Night shift staff in row with bosses

STAFF at a town's largest employer are taking legal advice after night-shift staff were told to agree to a change in their working hours or lose their jobs.

STAFF at a town's largest employer are taking legal advice after night-shift staff were told to agree to a change in their working hours or lose their jobs.

More than 20 night workers at Sudbury's Delphi Automotive Systems have been served termination of contract notices, which will be active within 90 days unless they agree to take on new hours.

Union chiefs at the firm say the move means staff would either have to work an extra night a week or lose between £1,600 and £2,400 a year by transferring to day shifts.

Officials from the Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU) and AMICUS, the union for technical & skilled persons, who represent the 810-strong workforce, believe management will be in breach of contract if they go ahead with the terminations and are now seeking legal advice.


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Kevin Browning, a senior TGWU steward said: "The company will be in breach of contract if they terminate the contracts after 90 days. Negotiations with the company have gone as a far as they can, so the matter is now in the hands of our solicitors.

"The current contracts have been in place for a number of years. Those affected have been working here for 15 years on average and one has been here 29 years.

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"This is a joint union action because we think the workers are being treated very unfairly. At the moment the night shift works from Monday night to Friday morning. With the new shift, although the number of working hours will be the same, they will have to start on a Sunday night, meaning they will have to work an extra night a week.

"Alternatively they can go on to a double day shift, where they would lose between £1,600 and £2,400 a year."

Steve Coppock, human resources manager at the firm, which makes engine parts, said: "We are dealing with the unions at the moment, and we cannot make any other comment."

The row comes just weeks after the company announced it wanted to shed 20 jobs through a "voluntary separation scheme", where employees leave the firm on an agreed financial package.

It is the third year running jobs have been cut at the factory, off Newton Road, the workforce has been slashed from 900 to 810 in the past two years.

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