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Latest News - August 2013

August 18, 2013
DHL walkout likely to hit JLR factories in Britain

London: Workers delivering auto parts to Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) factories in the UK are expected to unveil a walkout plan next week.

Logistics firm DHL has been holding talks with the staff union, which is now expected to give notice of industrial action on Tuesday.

According to The Sunday Times, DHL contacted JLR chief executive Ralf Speth on Friday to inform him that it had failed to reach an agreement with Unite, the union.

DHL, which employs 1,800 people at JLR's three main plants in the country, manages warehouses and the delivery of parts to production lines.

A logistics blockade could bring operations at Solihull and Castle Bromwich in the Midlands and Halewood on Merseyside to a standstill, forcing a shutdown.

It has also emerged that Unite is seeking legally binding assurances from the car maker that its plant in China, due to open in 2015, will not affect production in Britain.

The first vehicle to roll off the Chinese production line will be the popular Evoque "baby Range Rover", currently made at Halewood.

"The management of Jaguar Land Rover can't make any assurances while this DHL issue is going on," the newspaper quoted a source as saying.

The Tata Group firm generates export revenues of almost 11 billion pounds a year and is one of Britain's largest employers, with 24,000 workers.

It is investing 2.7 billion pounds this year to help launch new models to keep up with demand from India and China.

The company is also in advanced stages of plans to increase the size of its Halewood plant, which could result in creating up to 1,000 new jobs.

DHL employees, who often work alongside better-paid JLR workers, want a large pay rise to put them on similar terms.

DHL has reportedly offered a 4.5 percent increase starting from January this year and 3 percent or the rate of inflation in 2014.

However, Unite wants a 12.8 percent rise over two years for workers who bring parts to the line, plus 20.6 percent for drivers over the same period.

Tony Burke, assistant general secretary for manufacturing at Unite, said "We've got no comment to make. Its still a difficult situation."

In 2008, the Jaguar Land Rover company was established when Tata Motors acquired the Jaguar and Land Rover businesses from Ford. 



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