A TRADE union representing warehouse workers servicing BMW in Cowley has warned of further strike action, claiming a pay offer was rejected by members.

The Unite union, said its members had voted by 91 per cent to reject the offer on a ballot with a 98 per cent turnout, insisting it failed to address low wages across the company.

Industrial action had been postponed while the offer was voted on, it said, but threatened that strikes by the 200 workers could take place tomorrow (May 12) and on May 17 and 19.

The workers, made up of warehouse staff and shunter drivers working for logistics company Rudolph & Hellman, handle components for BMW and the strikes will significantly impact production at the Mini plant.

BMW said production was scheduled as usual for all shifts, but called for a resolution to the dispute between the union and Rudolph & Hellman.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Our Rudolph & Hellman members are loud and clear in their rejection of this pay offer and they have Unite’s full backing in resuming industrial action.

“It is not acceptable for BMW to be making profits off the backs of low paid supply chain workers. Rodolph & Hellman and BMW need to come back with a fresh deal that reflects our members’ rapidly rising living costs.”

It said Unite membership at Rudolph & Hellman had increased since the dispute began, claining this indicated the dissatisfaction among the workforce over pay rates.

Unite warned that a failure to raise pay to meet rising living costs could lead to retention and recruitment problems.

Unite regional officer Scott Kemp said: “Despite five days of talks Rudolph & Hellman has been unable or unwilling to make a significantly improved offer making strike action inevitable.”

A BMW spokesperson said: "We are disappointed that Rudolph and Hellmann and union representatives have been unable to reach an agreement yet, resulting in the strike.

"Production at Mini Plant Oxford is currently scheduled as usual for all shifts.

"We remain hopeful that both parties will continue constructive discussions and negotiate a workable solution."

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