Bus manufacturer workers begin two-week strike amid pay dispute

Unite said around 400 members will join the strike action after they voted to reject a real terms wage cut.

Hundreds of workers at a bus and coach manufacturing company have walked out amid an escalating dispute over pay.

Unite said that around 400 union members at Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) will go on strike for two weeks after voting to reject pay offers under 5% for 2023 and 2024, which they said represents a real terms pay cut.

The union said members demonstrated their frustration over the company’s failure to make a fair pay offer by recording an 81.3% yes vote in favour of industrial action on a 72% turnout.

The union represents coach builders and spray painters at the Camelon factory in Falkirk.

Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said: “Unite’s skilled manufacturing members at Alexander Dennis deserve far better from their employer.

“The pay offer tabled by the company represents a substantial real terms pay cut and is totally unacceptable.

“The workers at Alexander Dennis will receive Unite’s full support in their fight for better jobs, pay and conditions.”

In October 2022, Unite members voted to accept a 7.7% pay offer following several rounds of industrial action at ADL after the company originally offered a 4% increase.

Pat Egan, Unite industrial officer said: “This dispute is entirely of Alexander Dennis’ own making. It has had every chance to make our members a fair pay offer but it has failed to do so.”

The strike action starts on Monday, December 4 and will end on December 17.

A spokesperson for Alexander Dennis Limited said: “We are extremely disappointed that the unions representing our Falkirk factory are going ahead with their industrial action.

“Our latest offer would take the hourly rate of a vehicle builder to £19.04 by April 2024, considerably higher than our primary domestic competitor, reflecting the high regard we have for the skills of our workforce.

“We have taken every measure possible over the past few years to retain as many highly skilled jobs as possible.

“Despite the challenges that the bus manufacturing industry continues to navigate, we have invested heavily in upgraded facilities and new products that will underpin our long-term future.

“However, we also must recognise that we operate in a highly commercial environment with ongoing competitive pressure from manufacturers in lower-security economies.

“Here in the UK, we do not have the benefit of protectionist policies and indeed in some cases we are held to a higher standard than importers.

“This remains the case despite our continued calls for a level playing field and for recognition of the vital role that we can play to support the country’s decarbonisation ambitions as well as to sustain and grow skilled jobs.”

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