Hauliers delivering to Dagenham Ford plant could face major delays as Lineside Logistics workers at the factory ballot for strike action.
The ballot, which began this week and closes on 2 May, follows a breakdown in negotiations on pay between workers, represented by union Unite, and the management of Lineside Logistics.
The workforce has rejected the company's pay offer of 7.5% which Unite has condemned as a "substantial real terms pay cut", pointing to the real inflation rate (RPI) which currently stands at 13.8%.
The logistics company is Ford’s key contractor at Dagenham, and for Ford’s worldwide engine and parts distribution network, including to Turkey and South Africa.
Unite is warning that industrial action will result in severe distribution and production delays to the operation as engines and parts would not be delivered.
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Unite added that if the 120-plus workers, who are members of Unite, vote for industrial action then strikes could begin next month.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Lineside Logistics is a profitable company which can afford to give our members a fair pay increase. The company should stop prevaricating and make a pay offer in line with its workers’ expectations.
“Unite as a union is totally focused on its members’ jobs, pay and conditions and the workforce at Lineside Logistics will receive the union’s full support.”
Unite regional officer Joe Welch added: "Industrial action would cause huge disruption to the just in time delivery model at Ford’s Dagenham plant and across its worldwide operations, however this dispute is entirely of Lineside Logistics own making. Unite has given the company ample opportunities to make a fair pay offer and it has refused to do so.”
A request for comment from Lineside Logistics has yet to receive a response.