Jaguar Land Rover Logistics Contract Employees Vote for Walkout
Automaker Studying Options To Avoid Supply Disruption
With its Halewood, England, plant running round the clock to meet demand for its popular Range Rover Evoque premium compact SUV, fortunes seemingly could not be better for Jaguar Land Rover. But it appears there is discontent among the ranks, as unionized employees of logistics contractor DHL, which provide on-site transport and delivery of components to build vehicles, voted for walkout last week over dissatisfaction with JLR's offer for salary increases over the next two years, Reuters reports.
Unite, the labor union representing the DHL employees, asked for a 12.8-percent pay raise over two years for employees in parts-sorting roles and 20.6 percent for drivers. DHL offered employees a 4.5-percent pay raise for 2013, and 3 percent for 2014. Currently, the walkout votes only affect the Caste Bromwich and Solihull plants, which build Jaguar and rear-drive Land Rover and Range Rover models , respectively, but could also affect operations at Halewood, where the popular Evoque is manufactured, in a walkout authorization vote expected later today.
JLR said contingency plans are in place to avoid a major supply disruption if a strike happens, but urged the union to reconsider its position. Despite a weak British domestic economy, demand for Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles has been strong in North America and emerging markets, making JLR Britain's largest exporter of manufactured goods.