The dispute, over whether a proposed pay offer is consolidated or unconsolidated, and thus linked to pension contributions, has been on-going since early 2004. It finally erupted into industrial action after a vote by Transport and General Workers Union members on March 9.
They immediately began an overtime ban and work-to-rule, and held a demonstration outside the factory on March 15. The Union will hold a mass meeting at the plant this week to decide whether to escalate the action if its demands are not met.
Michelin says it will continue talks with the union, but that its offer will not change. “The fundamental offer is not going to change,” says a spokesman.
The Stoke-on-Trent site, one of the three Michelin UK plants, has seen employment drop from 10,000 in the 1970s to just over 400. Workers at the other sites rejected the offer but voted against industrial action.