Luton Vauxhall strikes suspended after Mitie tables new pay offer

But union warns 'make no mistake if the talks fail, new strikes will take place next year'

Friday, 10th December 2021, 9:22 am
Updated Friday, 10th December 2021, 9:26 am

Workers employed by the outsourcing giant Mitie, working on a contract at the Vauxhall factory in Luton, have suspended strike action following the offer of a new pay deal put forward by the company.

Around 30 workers, who are employed in cleaning roles as well as in the jig and tool departments, were due to strike during December in a dispute over pay as we reported here.

After Mitie refused to make a pay increase anywhere approaching the workers' expectations, a strike ballot was called and the workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, recorded a 96 per cent vote in favour of strike action.

Vauxhall Luton (Getty Images)

That was due to start at the Kimpton Road plantlast night (Thursday, December 9) at 10pm and end at 7.59am on Saturday, December 11. A further strike had been planned to begin on Thursday, December 16 and end on Saturday, December 18.

The strikes have now been suspended following an increased backdated pay offer being made. Discussions with the company will now take place over other outstanding issues, including shift premiums, job grading and holiday entitlements. If the talks fail, new strikes to take place in 2022 will be scheduled.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The planned strikes have now been suspended while discussions with the company take place over issues that still need to be resolved.

“But make no mistake if the talks fail, new strikes will take place next year. Unite is utterly determined to defend our members’ jobs, pay and conditions.”

Unite regional officer Andy Faughnan said: “The strikes have now been suspended to allow for negotiations on the outstanding issues to be conducted.

“The suspension of industrial action has been carried out on the proviso that Mitie enters into further talks in good faith. However, if the remaining elements of the dispute are not resolved, strikes will occur.”

Mitie had previously stated: "Our priority remains working with all parties to find a resolution, while ensuring we maintain services for our customer.”

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