Workers vote overwhelmingly to take strike action over Stamford company's factory closure plans
Workers at a Stamford engineering companyhave voted to go on strike in protest at plans to close a factory.
Union officials say workers at Cummins Generator Technologies voted by 93 per cent for strike action over what they claim is the failure of managers to negotiate constructively over plans to close one of the company's two manufacturing centres in the town.
Unite, which represents more than 260 workers, said it had a "massive" mandate for strike action on a 91 per cent turn out and planned to announce strike dates soon.
The vote for industrial action short of a strike was 96 per cent.
News of the strike threat has been met with disappointment by bosses at Cummins who say contingency plans have been put in place to ensure production is not disrupted.
The dispute has been sparked by the company's plans, announced last October, to shut its facilities in Barnack Road in October this year and create a technical centre of excellence at its site in Ryhall Road. The plans have put 350 jobs at risk.
Cummins currently employs 500 people in Stamford but says the new investment in the centre of excellence will safeguard the jobs of 150 people. The company also employs a further 200 people at Lynch Wood, in PeterboroughUnite also says its talks with managers have led to a revised offer by the firm for workers due to be affected by the closure of the Barnack Road site and that this offer will be put to members. Unite regional officer Scott Lennon said: “We are delighted to have received such a massive mandate from our members for strike action over the management’s failure to address concerns about their future with the closure of the Barnack Road site.“We will be considering the next course of action with our shop stewards and dates for strike action will be announced shortly.“At the same time, talks with the company today resulted in a revised offer for those workers who could lose their jobs later this year. This will be put to the workforce for their consideration.“We are in a fast developing situation and I would like to thank our members for the strong solidarity that they have shown since the shock closure announcement last October. “As a union, we are very concerned about any loss of skilled manufacturing jobs and the adverse effect it will have on the Lincolnshire economy.
"We have called for an impact assessment on the local economy of these job losses.” A spokesperson for Cummins said: “The result of the recent Unite ballot is clearly disappointing.
"We have taken every effort to ensure that we can continue to provide high quality employment in Stamford, to support our staff through the transition and to provide a considerable redundancy package for anyone who cannot be offered ongoing employment. Our priority has been and continues to be supporting our employees.
"We remain open to discussions with our staff and with Unite in the hope that we can avoid a strike, which we do not believe would be in anyone’s interests.
"However, our priority must now be to ensure that we continue to deliver for our customers and we will put contingencies in place to ensure that there is no disruption should industrial action go ahead.”