Volkswagen Group vehicle deliveries face ‘serious’ disruption after Sheerness dock drivers announce strikes
- Thursday 5 December 2019
Drivers at logistics firm GB Terminals (Southern) Ltd based at Sheerness docks, Kent, have announced strike action over pay, Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Thursday, 5 December).
The union said the strike action by 26 members will seriously disrupt the supply of new Volkswagen Group vehicles into the UK, including the distribution of new plate vehicles due to go on sale in March 2020.
Unite represents drivers and other workers who move new Volkswagen Group vehicles, which also include models from Audi, Porsche and Skoda, off ferries arriving in Sheerness and process and park them ready to be picked up by car transporters.
Unite members voted overwhelmingly (84.2 per cent) in favour of strike action, which will commence throughout January, February and March 2020, after GB Terminals rebuffed a claim for a pay increase in line with inflation and sought to impose a pay freeze.
GB Terminals, which is part of the GBA group, also refused Unite’s offer to involve conciliation service Acas in the negotiations, leading to members to take strike action.
Unite regional officer Philip Silkstone said: “Strike action by our members will seriously disrupt the distribution of Volkswagen Group vehicles arriving at Sheerness docks to be shipped to dealerships across the UK, including new 2020 models due to be released in March.
“These strikes are entirely the fault GB Terminals who refused every attempt by Unite to resolve this dispute without industrial action, including through negotiations mediated by Acas. It is GB Terminals who will have to answer to Volkswagen for the resultant disruption to their supply chain and subsequent loss of profits.
“Unite’s door is always open and there is still time for GB Terminals to come to its senses and put a sensible offer on the table. Our members are only asking for a fair pay rise in line with inflation.”
For more information please contact Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215.
Notes to editors:
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.