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Strike threats at Aston

Aston Martin faces further industrial action this week after the Transport and General Workers Union announced strike dates.

Action at the Bloxham and Newport sites starts at 11.30am on Thursday August 21 with production resuming on Monday 25. It comes after some 250 workers walked out on August 8 over a dispute to introduce more flexible working conditions. New shifts mean production staff would work evenings and weekends as part of their 39-hour week.

Workers have nicknamed the new conditions the 'Martini' shifts after the drink's “any time, any place, any where” advertising catchphrase. But Aston says the shifts are necessary if it is to increase volumes.

John Street, T&G regional industrial organiser, says: “We are very disappointed that the company is refusing to negotiate over the changes to working practices. These strikes demonstrate the depth of anger at the proposals.

Dr Ulrich Bez, Aston Martin chief executive, is equally disappointed. He claims the union leadership initially recommended acceptance of the offer. “Aston Martin is entering the most significant and exciting period of change in its history. It is sad that when we are about to enter one of the brightest points we have 175 Union members out of a total workforce of nearly 1000 voting not to accept standard industry practices that will improve Aston Martin's competitive position.”

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