Workers at an Ellesmere Port firm are balloting for strike action.
The dispute, at Adient Seating UK Ltd on the Vauxhall Supply Park, North Road, is said to involve the axing of shift pay which Unite, Britain’s largest union, believes would see workers eventually losing up to £70 of their income a week.
But there are hopes the dispute can be resolved through negotiation.
The Unite members are being balloted as the company is proposing to end shift pay which Unite argues is worth 15% of workers’ wages.
Adient Seating supplies seats directly to Vauxhall Motors.
Unite regional officer Mick Chalmers said: “Workers are very worried about the ability to make ends meet for their families.
“The loss of shift premiums for our members will have a devastating effect on their take home pay. Rapidly rising prices meant workers were already feeling the pinch but the loss of shift pay would mean that they were simply no longer able to make ends meet.
“Unite has constantly said that we hope that this dispute can be resolved by negotiation but we have been forced to begin balloting for strike action and urge Adient Seating to enter into further meaningful negotiation.”
The ballot opened on Monday, March 12 and closes on Monday, March 19. Unite says that if members vote in favour of strike action walkouts could begin soon after Easter.
A spokesperson for Adient Europe and Africa in Germany told the Chronicle: “Our customer has removed the night shift moving from two shifts (days and nights) to a single day shift.
“Adient, as a just-in-time facility directly linked to the production schedule of our customers, has no alternative other than move to a single day shift operation too.
“As employees are no longer working a night shift they are no longer entitled to night shift premiums.
“Employees at our customer already accepted that they would lose the shift premium and negotiated a ‘soft landing’ to phase in the reduction.
“Adient values its workforce at Ellesmere Port and recognises the impact that the removal of the nightshift has on employees affected.”
She added: “We are currently in consultation with the employee representatives and are confident that we will reach a satisfactory solution for all involved parties.”