23/11/2007 - NYK Dispute

Workers at the NYK Distribution depot in Solihull are dismayed by the lack of urgency shown by their Union, the T&GWU (Unite) in pursuing a dispute.

The dispute over low wages, which at one point had a 98% vote by the workers for industrial action, has ended with a dubious vote, counted by the Union to accept the Companys’ offer.  Nearly 12 months had passed since negotiations had broken down but a seven week delay by the Union for strike action and a £200 incentive (bribe) by the management just before Christmas meant a few had waivered!  But surely not by that much?  NYK Site Manager, Paul Kavanagh, when asked if he would accept 3.5% on his wage this year, declined to answer.  No surprise there then! 

Suspected collusion between the  Union and the Management has left a bad taste for the majority of workers.  Drivers have to work 60 hours+ for an average wage.  The rise amounts to £8.00 p.w.  Approximately 250 workers voted. 

Latest Update: The legality of the ballot has been called into question.  Ballot papers had already been opened when NYK shop stewards arrived for checking.  A straw poll on the morning after the ballot carried out by three of the drivers found that ballot papers had not even been received by up to 20 personnel.  A telephone call to Transport House in Birmingham by one of these drivers, threatening police intervention because of the illegality of this, has resulted in the three drivers being called to Transport House (Unite) for talks.  This is still ongoing.