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Jaguar Land Rover’s UK staff reject pay deal

Jaguar Land Rover’s UK workers have voted against an offered pay rise and pension changes as the country’s biggest trade union said the firm should return to the negotiating table or face a ballot for industrial action.

Talks between the Indian Tata-owned automaker and workers’ representatives ended with no agreement in October after the union rejected a pay deal offering staff a rise of at least 3 percent in each of the next three years.

On Thursday, trade union Unite said nearly 13,000 staff had rejected the pay offer, with just under 500 accepting.

Staff were offered a 3.6 percent rise in the first year plus a bonus and either 3 percent or the Retail Prices Index measure of inflation plus 0.5 percent depending on which is higher in years two and three, a trade union source told Reuters.

Unite national officer Roger Maddison said there were concerns over what he said were proposed reductions to pension provisions at the firm.

“With the company making a staggering 10 million pounds ($15.7 million) profit a day, it is no surprise that the workforce is angered by pension cuts and a pay offer that falls short in recognizing their role in that success,” he said.

Jaguar Land Rover would not comment on details of the pay or pension deal when asked by Reuters but a spokesman said the firm was very disappointed with the result of the ballot but committed to reaching a negotiated settlement.

Jaguar Land Rover has enjoyed a new lease of life since Tata Motors bought it from Ford in 2008, recording a pre-tax profit of £2.5 billion in the 2013/14 business year, more than doubling in three years.

Last year the firm built almost one in three of Britain’s 1.5 million cars and in October opened a £500 million engine manufacturing center, its fifth site in Britain.