[U]nite members working on contracts by Staffline Recruitment Limited at the Pirelli Tyres site in Carlisle have begun balloting for strike action and an overtime ban this week in a dispute over pay and terms and conditions.
The workers, including store workers, forklift drivers and process operators at the Pirelli production site, are balloting for strike action over low pay and the deterioration of workers’ terms and conditions. Many of these workers are employed on a ‘contract for services’. This means they are, effectively, on a zero hour agency contract with virtually no employment protection.
The ballot will close on Tuesday 15 May. If members vote in favour of strike action then walk outs could begin from the end of May. Unite, the country’s largest union, said such strike action would have an adverse impact on tyre production.
Pirelli supplies tyres to Audi, BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes, Porsche Volkswagen and Volvo.
Unite is calling for Staffline Recruitment management to engage in urgent and constructive talks to resolve the dispute.
Commenting Unite regional officer Malcolm Carruthers said: “Nobody here wants to take industrial action, but our members are angry.
“They are seeking to improve their terms and protect their livelihood.
“When these positions were filled by Pirelli employees, they were highly paid jobs, with sick pay, enhanced pensions, better holidays, and all the things you would expect of a premium employer. Yet their standard of living and job security have deteriorated since these jobs were outsourced.
“It is outrageous that Pirelli Tyres, a large prestige multinational company, allows outsourced labour to be employed in such a manner at the Carlisle site.
“We are not willing to accept a two-tier workforce on this basis – our members should be employed on a permanent basis.
“Unite is calling for Staffline Recruitment to get back round the table with us so we can find a solution to resolve this dispute.”
Unite is seeking a five per cent increase on all elements of pay from Monday 1 January 2018, and an increase in overtime and bank holiday premium rates.