Workers at Magna Seating on the airport Industrial estate have voted to ballot for industrial action after the company failed to reach an agreement with them despite five months of negotiations.
The company which employs around 30 people supply seats for the Ford Transit plant next door but Ford have decided to close the plant from July and transfer th eprouction of the iconic van to Turkey because EU trade agreements make it more profitable for them – even though the biggest market is in the UK.
Magna an international automotive parts manufacturer will also close with the loss of all jobs.
However the workers are unhappy that Magna – who earned nearly $28.7 billion worldwide last year –are at the moment only offering minimum statutory payouts which in some cases will be as low as £1,800, while Ford workers next door will be picking up bonuses that will push their redundancy payments as high as £100,000.
The workers along with their Unite the Union officials have been trying, so far unsuccessfully, to improve terms .
Yesterday’s vote was described as ‘nearly unanimous’ and came after workers were told that Magna Seating’s UK director – Malcolm Hayes – was paid £167,000 in 2011.
Considerably more, workers claim, than it would cost Magna to pay all of its 28 staff pay in lieu of notice.
A spokesman for the Magna – speaking from their head office in Germany – declined to comment when contacted by Eastleigh News.