Global car brands could see massive production issues after workers at a major supplier announced it would be on strike indefinitely.
The UK’s leading union, Unite, announced that pay strikes at the Hartlepool factory of TMD Friction have intensified and will continue in the future.
Around 150 workers began strike action in response to pay earlier this month at TMD Friction, which supplies car makers with brake discs, pads and other products.
This has now risen to over 180 as more workers join the union, with the employees now moving towards “continuous indefinite strike action”.
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The strikers at the Hartlepool factory of TMD Friction announced indefinite strike action
The company is a major supplier to popular brands like Rolls-Royce, Ford, Nissan, Toyota, Bentley and McLaren, with these brands now risking brake product shortages.
Workers involved in the strike action include highly skilled metal press operators, as well as other factory and production staff.
Mike Routledge, regional office at Unite, said: “These strikes will continue as long as necessary and disruption to customers is entirely TMD’s and AEQUITA’s fault.
“Our members have the full force of Unite behind them and are increasingly angry at the management’s appalling attitude, including repeatedly refusing to enter talks with the union.
“This dispute will not end until an acceptable offer is put forward.”
According to the Unite union, the workers are angry at the low pay offer from their employer during a cost of living crisis.
Some of the workers in the factory are on as little as £12.88 and have been offered just a four per cent pay increase.
The union highlighted how this is a real-terms pay cut as the real rate of inflation (RPI) rate stood at nine per cent in June.
Sharon Graham, general secretary at Unite, took aim at AEQUITA, who purchased TMD Friction from Nisshinbo Holdings Inc in December 2023.
She said: “TMD’s accounts show it is generating a substantial amount of money, which is also the reason for its recent sale to a German multinational.
“Our members know that TMD can well afford to put forward a fair pay rise and that’s what needs to happen.
“They have Unite’s unwavering support as they take strike action.”
A number of global car manufacturers could be impacted by the strike action
TMD Friction reported losses of £4,000 in 2022, although it had a total turnover of £74.1million and gross profits of £9million.
GB News has contacted TMD Friction and AEQUITA for a comment.