County Durham car manufacturing strikes

Strikes at County Durham car bearing factories set to disrupt automakers

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Pay strikes at car bearing manufacturers NSK Bearings and AKS Precision Ball in Peterlee, County Durham, are set to disrupt supply chains for automakers, including VW, Toyota and Renault, Unite has warned.

Around 200 workers, comprising the entire shopfloor workforce at the two factories, both owned by NSK Europe, will take strike action every Wednesday and Saturday for the next six weeks over an ‘insulting’ 1.6 per cent pay offer.

The first strike will begin tomorrow (March 23) with the possibility of industrial action intensifying if a new offer is not put forward.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “This insulting pay offer has left these workers with no choice but to take strike action.

“Unite is here to defend and improve our members’ jobs, pay and conditions and NSK Europe’s Peterlee staff will be receiving the union’s full support during their fight for a decent pay rise,” she added.

According to its latest financial report, NSK Europe brought in gross profits of more than £80 million for the year ending 31 March 2021.

Unite regional officer Nick Dalton added, “NSK Europe brings in staggering amounts of money, yet our members’ pay has been eroded for years.

“They have had enough and are determined to strike until NSK puts forward an acceptable pay offer. The longer that takes to happen, the more these strikes will intensify, and the more disruption will be caused to NSK’s clients, including VW, Toyota and Renault.”

By Ryan Fletcher

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