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Last Updated: Friday, 8 August, 2003, 17:21 GMT 18:21 UK
Strike action at Aston Martin
Pierce Brosnan with the James Bond Aston Martin Vanquish
The Aston Martin is famed for appearing in Bond films
More than 400 workers at two plants owned by luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin have gone on strike for the first time in the company's history.

A three-hour stoppage began at 0930 BST on Friday in response to concerns over new shift patterns.

The workers, members of the Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU), claim the changes would require them to work so-called Martini shifts: "anytime, any place, anywhere".

The union's regional industrial organiser, John Street, said workers were after a better deal.

"Aston Martin workers work the longest hours of any Ford Premier Automotive Group and are at the lower end of the company pay league", he said.

Members of the Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU) rejected plans for new flexible shifts by voting 175 in favour of strikes, with 48 against.

However, Aston Martin spokesman, Tim Watson, said: "We are not proposing extra hours so much as more flexible work patterns."

The industrial action will affect production of the company's Vantage model at Newport Pagnell in Buckinghamshire and the DB7 at Bloxham, Oxfordshire, as well as the company's headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire.

The stoppages involve about 180 staff at Newport Pagnell and 250 at Bloxham.

Aston Martin builds about 1,500 cars a year and employs 1,000 people.

The firm makes the Vantage model at Newport Pagnell in Buckinghamshire and the DB7 car at Bloxham in Oxfordshire.

Mr Watson added: "The ball is now back in the union's court. We are prepared to sit down for talks with them at any time."

Luxury car workers to strike
15 Jul 03  |  Oxfordshire

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