UK: Land Rover strike action ends as unions consider next move - report
Unions are meeting to discuss their next move as a 24-hour strike over pay at SUV maker Land Rover came to an end, the BBC reported on its website.
The report said the action, which began at 6am UK time on Monday, was marked by egg-throwing and noisy demonstrations at the company's plant in Solihull, West Midlands, though union leaders reportedly claimed local youths, rather than their members, were responsible for bad behaviour on the picket line.
The BBC noted that Land Rover workers claim they are under-paid compared with colleagues at fellow Ford-owned company Jaguar while Land Rover says its final offer of a 6.5% pay increase over two years is "significantly" above the rate of inflation and industry settlements in the UK.
According to the BBC, Land Rover said no vehicles were built in Solihull because of the 24-hour strike, but added it was business as usual at its [administration, research and engineering] site in Gaydon, Warwickshire, where managers and other white collar staff work.
The report noted that Land Rover has warned the walkout could risk the future of the Solihull plant, where up to 1,000 vehicles a day are made, as it would be increasingly difficult to justify new investment.
Ford has already shifted production of the next generation Freelander, due in 2005, to the Jaguar X-type plant at Halewood, near Merseyside.
The BBC said members of the Transport and General Workers' Union (T&G) and the Amicus union have rejected the two-year pay deal, complaining they earn up to £25 a week less than their colleagues at Jaguar.
The T&G reportedly said there was solid support for the industrial action and that further strikes could be held if the deadlock is not broken.
Noisy crowds assembled behind temporary wire fences at the Solihull factory for what was the first walkout at the vehicle maker since 1988, the BBC said.
Union leaders were scheduled to meet on Tuesday to discuss their next move, the report added.