ADL bosses reacts to strike vote after workers reject four per cent pay offer

Bosses at bus builder Alexander Dennis Limited have said they are “disappointed” in a decision by around 400 workers at their Falkirk plant to vote for strike action.

Unite the union revealed on Friday that workers had rejected a four per cent pay offer which they described as “pitiful”.

The company had also rejected a proposal by Unite to move production to a four-day week (32 hours) from five days (36 hours), according to the union.

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The union added its members had no pay rise for three years, as well as 140 jobs were lost at ADL in the Camelon plant and nearby Larbert through voluntary redundancy.

ADL bosses have responded after workers at the plant in Glasgow Road, Camelon have voted to strike over pay
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Pat Egan, Unite industrial officer said; “ADL has a very healthy order book with hundreds of new single and double decker buses being built in Camelon. Our members have endured a lot of uncertainty over the last few years but they have continued to manufacture a world class product."

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In response, a spokesperson for Alexander Dennis said: “We are disappointed in this course of action. The UK bus and coach sector has faced dramatic challenges since the pandemic struck in 2020, as huge reductions in bus ridership instantly decreased vehicle demand. These challenges were further exacerbated by supply chain headwinds and the added pressure of low-cost imports. While we are seeing initial signs of ridership recovery, new vehicle orders are taking longer than expected, providing decreased visibility for future production.

"Bus manufacturing in the UK is traditionally a low volume and tight margin industry which relies on a steady flow of orders to maintain domestic capacity, sadly we have not had that environment for the last two years and while recent funding for zero emission technology is well received, the underlying demand for new buses remains subdued.”

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Around 400 workers at ADL in Falkirk who are members of the union Unite have voted to strike over a pay offer. Pic: Michael Gillen

The spokesperson said bus transportation is key to keeping the country moving, connecting people to their livelihoods, education and families.

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They added: “All challenges considered, Alexander Dennis remains proud to be a leading UK based manufacturer, providing strong domestic employment opportunities to build buses for the whole of the UK as well as international markets. While UK manufacturing is continually competing with import markets, industrial action will only serve to further impact our ability to recover production volumes and rebuild the business for our people and our customers.

“Alexander Dennis has eight sites across the UK and 75 per cent of our UK based employees have already accepted pay deals this year, including team members in Scarborough where Unite the Union has a large membership base. A four-day week was introduced in Scarborough by mutual agreement as part of their pay deal, however, this same proposal was rejected by union representatives in Falkirk.

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"Looking to Falkirk specifically, we have leading T&Cs for employees that include competitive rates of pay, overtime allowances and shift premiums. We additionally provide a range of further employee benefits that ensure the package offered to our employees remains exceptionally generous in what is a very competitive labour market. Over the past six years, including 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, we have increased pay and associated benefits by over 12 per cent in agreement with team members and their union representatives.”