A union elects members of an airline parts manufacturer after management claims it will cut employees’ wages by up to £ 3,000.
Unite says SPS Technologies in Leicester is planning to make changes that would result in employees – most of whom they say represent the union – losing between £ 2,500 and £ 3,000 of their salaries.
The union said around 200 Thurmaston workforce were laid off this summer, with the remaining 280 now facing cuts in overtime, sick pay, paid breaks, shift bonuses and other conditions.
The company manufactures bolts, pins, screws and nuts designed for use under high load conditions in aircraft engines and airframes.
Two years ago, around 580 people were employed at the Barkby Road site.
BusinessLive contacted SPS and spoke to someone in its HR department who said “There is no comment” before hanging up the phone.
The company belongs to the component manufacturer Precision Castparts Corp. based in Portland, Oregon, on the west coast of America. BusinessLive asked for a comment.
In a statement, Unite said: “Losing such a substantial amount will result in workers being unable to pay their mortgages and other important bills.
“Employees fear the cuts could force them to use payday loans, look for second jobs, or find entirely new jobs.
“The strike vote, which opens on Tuesday, December 1st and ends on Monday, December 14th, could cause SPS operations to come to a standstill.”
Unite Regional Representative Lakhy Mahal said: “SPS is not content with laying off nearly half of its loyal workforce in the midst of a pandemic when they could have been on leave and are now attempting deplorable attacks on wages and conditions Remaining carry out.
“SPS is using the pandemic as a pretext to fire and re-employ employees with significantly poorer contracts and wages.
“These opportunistic changes will have a tremendously negative impact on the financial security of our members.
“The anger is so high that a strike vote has been called that could cause SPS operations to come to a standstill.
“These wage cuts are so severe that some workers fear that they will no longer be able to pay their mortgages or pay their bills.
“Despite working hard in a full-time job, employees fear having to rely on payday loans, find an evening job, or even leave to find a new job.
“The situation is destroying the remaining trust of the workforce in their employer.
“SPS’s behavior towards its dedicated employees, who worked through the initial lockdown to ensure the company fulfilled its mandates, is simply wrong and is being fought by Unite every step of the way.
“I urge SPS to stop these attacks, which are causing serious reputational damage to the company, before this dispute escalates further.”
SPS Technologies LTD’s recently released accounts showed an operating loss of £ 1.3 million in 2019, compared to a loss of £ 4.4 million the previous year.
Sales were £ 47.3 million, slightly higher than the previous year.
The accounts show that the company had net assets of $ 46.8 million last year.
The accounts say the company is making further cuts in 2020 to help mitigate the effects of Covid-19.
The balance sheet states: “The company strives to recruit and retain highly qualified and loyal employees in order to meet the continuous improvement requirements of our customer base.”
But it added, “The global impact of the pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented decline in global air traffic, which has resulted in a significant reduction in our order book.
“Projected future business activity is insufficient to maintain current employment levels and the company has reduced its workforce to meet the decline in future demand.”