Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Hills of North Georgia,USA
Aston Martin stalled by first ever strike
Friday August 8, 2003
Aston Martin, one of Britain's most famous sports car marques, looks set for the slow lane this morning with the first-ever walkout by workers at its two manufacturing sites.
The Transport & General Workers Union said there would be three-hour stoppages by 420 of its members at Newport Pagnall and Bloxham. The strike comes after nearly six months of negotiation over management plans to introduce more flexible working patterns, allowing shifts to be increased or reduced in length depending on demand.
Aston Martin said last night it was resigned to the protest but insisted the majority of its staff would remain at work and production would not be hit. "We will be back to normal anyway on Monday morning but we will decide then what to do [about further talks with the TGWU]," said a spokesman for the company, which is a part of the Ford motor group.
He said the ability to vary shift lengths was necessary to cope with the cyclical manufacturing that accompanies luxury car production. The overall 39-hour week ceiling had not been changed, said the spokesman. The action follows a ballot last month, which saw 80% of members voting for strike action and just under 90% supporting industrial action short of a strike.
The workers are said to be angry because they already works two hours more per week than colleagues at other Ford-owned companies, such as Jaguar and Land-Rover, but earn substantially less.
"These workers see the £120,000 luxury cars going out yet the company expects to bring in new shifts which will mean real pressure on them and lead to a Spartan lifestyle, said John Street, TGWU industrial organiser. "This is not a militant workforce but an angry and frustrated one."
Aston Martin said the company was on the verge of a bright new future with a new plant about to open in Gaydon, Warwickshire, which would help with plans to ramp up production from 1,500 to 5,000 cars a year.
My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.
My next Ford.....