Kilmarnock engineers to begin strike action

23 Apr

Unite members at Mahle Engine Systems will start discontinuous strike action from tomorrow morning (Tuesday 24th April) after last-ditch negotiations failed to reach an agreement on the future of manufacturing at the Kilmarnock plant.

After workers voted overwhelmingly for strike action last month, the union had agreed to a series of requests from management for meetings in Kilmarnock and Rugby and also agreed a legal extension to postpone strike action allowing further talks to take place.

However, further proposals from management were rejected in a consultative ballot last week by over 65% of the workforce as commitments could not be secured to bid for new work and protect existing contracts that would help demonstrate profitability. Mahle have not returned with a new offer since.

Unite Regional Industrial Officer Jim Winter said, This strike action is the culmination of nearly a year of stonewalling by Mahle on the future of this world-class manufacturing plant. Its sorely disappointing that its taken impending industrial action to even drag Mahle kicking and screaming to the negotiating table.

This workforce has made every effort to appeal to management and our requests were modest. We asked for assurances that the plant could tender in a fair and time-bound manner for new work – this was road-blocked. We asked for decent redundancy payments for workers employed on contracts that Mahle refused to negotiate on – this was refused.

Sadly their directors are simply not prepared to give Kilmarnock a fair chance to fight for its future. The Ayrshire economy simply cannot sustain any more pain so we’ll fight to defend skills and livelihoods.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

Industrial action will start and end at the following times with an official picket line outside the Mahle Kilmarnock site:

  • Tuesday 24th April 6AM until Wednesday 25th April 7.30AM

  • Thursday 26th April 6AM until Friday 27th April 7.30AM

  • Saturday 28th April 6.45AM until Sunday 29th April 6.15AM

For further information please contact Unite Regional Industrial Officer Jim Winter on 07739654856 (on the picket line at Mahle, Kilmarnock) or Peter Welsh in the Scottish Campaigns Unit on 07810157931.


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