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Strike threat over Sunday shift pattern

FORKLIFT truck drivers working the night shift at Land Rover are threatening to strike over a new Sunday shift pattern.

FORKLIFT truck drivers working the night shift at Land Rover are threatening to strike over a new Sunday shift pattern.

Workers from German logistics company DHL are strongly opposing the move which will see Friday night-shifts scrapped and Sunday’s introduced.

If the strike becomes official, key parts for Land Rover models will no longer reach the Lode Lane plant.

One employee who has worked as a driver for 12 years said that DHL were ‘bullying’ them into the move after sending out letters confirming the change.

“Everyone is really cheesed off about this because we have just been told without any consultation,” the 38-year-old said.

“Strikes are imminent because we are not prepared to put up with their bully-boy tactics.

“The drivers are really upset after this announcement and one recently crashed his truck due to lack of concentration - it’s affecting us all.”

In February 200 drivers were sacked and re-hired on inferior terms yet night shift workers faced more bad news when DHL HR officer Jenny Ebrey sent a letter to them which read:

“Due to continuous changes in volumes and operating times, it is essential that we have the correct number of employees aligned to working areas. As per your contract of employment, please take this letter as the required two weeks’ minimum notice that you are entitled to for any changes to your shift pattern.

“As from Sunday 5th July 2009, you are required to work the following shift pattern: Sunday to Thursday nights.”

The news comes less than a month after night shifts were reintroduced at the site following an eight-month gap.

Land Rover spokesman Mark Foster said it makes sense that their logistics supplier meet the same shift patterns as the production team.

Meanwhile a DHL spokesman said: “There has unfortunately been a breakdown in communication between management and employees on this occasion. We believe an acceptable compromise can be reached between meeting the changing demands of our customer whilst understanding the concerns and impact of changing working patterns on our employees.”

 

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