Fears that the Jaguar Land Rover plant on Merseyside could grind to a halt this spring have been averted after DHL agreed to compensate 600 of its logistics and dispatch workers for the loss of their shift premiums.

The dispute arose after the DHL workforce – who are employed on the logistics and dispatch contract at Halewood supplying the production line with components – learnt they were to lose their shift premiums as a result of an alteration in the workers’ starting time.

Industrial action was averted after negotiations between DHL and union Unite resulted in DHL agreeing to pay the entire workforce a new payment worth 12.5% of earnings in compensation for the withdrawal of the shift premium. The deal benefits over 600 workers employed by DHL at Halewood.

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Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: "This was an important result and a direct result of our members being clear and united that they would not and could not afford to accept a huge reduction in their earnings.

“This result underlines how Unite’s focus on the jobs, pay and conditions of its members is paying direct financial dividends.”

Unite regional officer Joey Swift said: “The deal for our DHL members at Halewood was only possible due to the strong union organisation at the plant. My message to all workers is if you aren’t currently in a union, join Unite.”