Drivers at logistics firm GB Terminals (Southern) Ltd based at Sheerness docks, Kent, have postponed scheduled strike action after the firm agreed to talks mediated by the conciliation service Acas, Unite, said today (Monday 9 January).
Unite represents 26 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.
The membership voted overwhelmingly (84.2 per cent) for strike action after GB Terminals shut down a claim for a pay rise in line with inflation and sought to impose a pay freeze.
The union said the strike action would cause “serious disruption” to 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.
However, Unite officials and GB Terminals have now agreed to renew negotiations, which will be mediated by Acas, with strike action planned for tomorrow (10 January) now suspended to allow talks to occur.
Unite regional officer Philip Silkstone said, “This is positive news for our members and we hope that this dispute can be resolved without disruption.
“Our members’ demands are far from unreasonable and we urge to GB Terminals to come to the Acas talks with a sensible offer that our members can accept.
“If the talks do fail, however, strike action over the coming weeks will go ahead as planned.”