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Optare workers strike over holidays


Staff at bus and coach manufacturer set for three days of action

Industrial action is continuing at Leeds-based bus and coach manufacturer Optare's Shelburn facility in a row about annual leave.

The 170 Unite union members began industrial action on 23 May over the company's plans to force the workforce to take two weeks’ annual leave in the height of the summer season, in the middle of August, when the average price of a family holiday is up to 92% higher in some cases.

Two 24-hour stoppages are planned for 27 May and 2 June.

Richard Bedford, Unite regional officer, said: “The union’s members are taking strike action with a heavy heart but Optare’s plans to force hard pressed workers to take their annual leave when the average price of a family holiday is considerably higher is a step too far.

“Despite offering a number of alternatives and compromises, including a shorter period of shutdown to resolve the dispute, the company has refused to budge, leaving the workforce with no choice but to take action.

“Unite is calling on Optare to get back around the table to find a solution so that workers can get back to the job of making buses and coaches.”

Meanwhile, Optare said: “The company announces that recent negotiations have not been able to prevent union led strike action at Sherburn manufacturing facility. However, talks between Optare's senior management team and the union representatives remain ongoing and it is hoped that a resolution can be found in due course.”



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