Ford-owned Land Rover has agreed to amend a contentious clause in its pay offer relating to working practices, according to the AMICUS union.

Amicus will now ballot its members at Land Rover on the amended offer.

After long discussions with union leadters this week, Land Rover has agreed to change the wording in the offer that union members had feared would give Land Rover a free hand to change working practices without consultation.

Amicus national officer for the automotive industry, Duncan Simpson, said: “This is a change to the company’s previous offer which we are duty-bound to report back to our members for their consideration. There will be no recommendation from the union to refuse or accept the offer.”

Amicus and T&G members at Land Rover’s Solihull and Gaydon facilities in the West Midlands have held two days of strike action in the last month following rejection of the company’s offer on pay and conditions. They have also been operating an overtime ban and have withdrawn from the plants’ flexible working time arrangement. Unions say the industrial action will continue until after the results of the consultative ballot are known.

Workers at the plant overwhelmingly rejected the company offer by 82% in a ballot held in October 2003.

Land Rover’s current pay offer is a 6.5% rise over two years but the workers want more, to give them pay parity with their counterparts at Jaguar, another UK car maker owned by Ford.

Ford counters that the workers are well paid by UK industry standards and work fewer hours than those at Jaguar.