Mini News MINIs Oxford plant facing first strike in 30 years over pay

Discussion in 'MINI News and Articles' started by Nathan, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

    Mar 30, 2009
    Short North
    +10,069 / 0 / -0

    Trade unions claimed on Wednesday that a pay offer to workers had "more strings than a puppet show" and BMW, the owner of Mini, was making a pay rise conditional on staff working 30 extra hours a year.

    The UK car industry was dogged by industrial action in the 1960s and 1970s, but its revival in the past decade has been typified by the Mini plant.

    The factory was owned by Rover during its last strike in 1984. However, BMW took over the site when it bought the British car maker and has used it as the manufacturing base for the revival of Mini in the 21st century.

    BMW confirmed on Wednesday that it enjoyed record sales in the first quarter of 2012, supported by its British brands Mini and Rolls-Royce.

    The German company also enjoyed its best ever monthly sales in March, fuelled by demand for its premium cars in China.

    However, the potential industrial action at the Mini plant is a threat to BMW's rapid progress.

    According to Unite, 97pc of staff rejected the pay offer in a consultative ballot of almost 2,000 workers.

    BMW says it is offering staff a 6pc pay rise, however this is disputed by Unite. The trade union says the offer includes a basic pay increase of just 2.21pc, with an extra 1.79pc dependant on staff working 30.1 hours more a year and a further 2pc team bonus representing just 1.3pc of salary for most of the workforce.

    Mr Maddison said Unite will now prepare an industrial action ballot while talks with BMW continue.

    He added: "The truth is that BMW has made a pay offer of just over 2pc, the rest of the deal comes with significant strings attached. The union never closed the door on talks and we are happy to get back around the table but we are also making preparations to ballot our members for strike action.
    "The majority of the workforce works 11-hour shifts, and more and more productivity demands are being made by BMW. Rather than try to claw back every penny it can, BMW should be treating its workforce with dignity."
    In a statement, BMW said: "It is disappointing that the company's offer of a 6pc pay increase has been rejected. A date has been set to recommence negotiations with our union representatives."

    BMW sold 68,210 Minis in the first quarter of 2012, up 12pc on 2011 and a record for the brand. The car maker expects Mini to break its annual sales record this year of 285,060 cars, set in 2011, as it benefits from the launch of new models such as the Countryman.

    The success of Mini helped BMW to post total sales of 425,528 vehicles in the three months to March 31, an 11pc year-on-year increase.

    Ian Robertson, BMW's sales director, said: "These outstanding results are due to our attractive, young model range and our strategy of healthy, balanced growth across the globe. We aim to continue the momentum with additional new models this year."

    Sales for BMW in China soared by 36.8pc to 80,014, ahead of the US which rose 16.6pc to 75,729 and Germany which increased 2pc to 66,222. The growth for BMW comes on top of a record-breaking 2011 in terms of sales and profits. Last month it confirmed revenues rose 14pc to €68.8bn (£58bn) last year while pre-tax profits increased by 52pc to €7.6bn.

    The company is benefiting from robust demand for luxury cars in the West and rapidly expanding markets in emerging global economies.

    The popularity of its models, including the revamped 3-Series sedan, meant BMW performed ahead of its rivals. Audi sold 346,100 vehicles in the first quarter while Mercedes sold 313,902.

    Source: Mini's Oxford plant facing first strike in 30 years over pay - Telegraph
  2. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

    Jun 4, 2009
    Retired old fart
    Hooterville Ohio USA
    +11,636 / 2 / -0
    With sales of MINIs strong I think the Union is in a good position to make BMW sit up & take notice. Hope we don't start seeing MINIs assembled by disgruntled workers.

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