AMICUS, the union for staff in the motor industry, today warned that the giant UK Nissan car factory on Wearside was dangerously close to the first strike in its history.

Pay talks broke down last week at mediation service Acas and the works council will put the final offer to staff today without a recommendation.

The union has had no direct involvement in the negotiations since neither the non union works council nor the company have chosen to ask full time officials to help sort out the escalating row.

“800 Amicus members have been poorly represented by the works council. If the workforce rejects the final offer we will be obliged to ballot our members for industrial action.

“I appeal to the works council to involve Amicus and steer our members off the collision course they are now on,” said regional secretary Davey Hall.
Amicus is concerned that the current agreement is not serving its members well.

The controversial deal signed in the early 80s was billed as marking a new era in industrial relations. Many Amicus members at the plant have suggested it is well past its ‘sell by’ date.

Amicus joint general secretary Derek Simpson said: “The situation at Nissan shows that the agreement is not working in the interests of our members or of the company.

“If Amicus had been involved from the start we should have been able to resolve the pay talks before we got into this mess.”