Melksham Workers Hold Overtime Strike
Staff at Cooper Tire & Rubber’s plant in Melksham went on a no overtime strike last week to protest changes to working conditions at the facility, reports Tire Review. It is believes that 500 workers there – members of the Unite union – have refused to take any overtime in a dispute over benefit changes, which include a cut in paid holidays, capping sick days, elimination of a late Saturday shift, and an increase in the mandatory retirement age, as well as overtime that has been forced by staff reductions at the plant.
According to one employee, who was quoted by the local newspaper, “They have cut back on staff. There’s a big redundancy program and they have changed all the shifts. They have cut all the benefits so it doesn’t matter how much you work you still get the same. They are refusing to give people holidays unless you are prepared to work overtime. I think enough is enough.
“They rely too much on overtime so this ban will affect them big time,” the 56-year-old employee told the newspaper.
In a statement issued by the plant, Cooper said: “The company is taking steps to minimise any disruption to our customers that may result from an overtime ban at the factory in Melksham. “The overtime ban, which commenced on September 8, follows a vote in favour of industrial action by a minority of the facility’s union membership. The company has not changed its position relative to the issue of an annual pay award, a subject of dispute with the Unite union.”