About 70 Brittany Ferries staff are taking the ferry operator to an employment tribunal following a long-running dispute over sick pay and health benefits.
The mass action, which is expected to last for two days, is being co-ordinated by the T&G Union, and begins today in Exeter.
The tribunal will centre on the company’s decision to withdraw a private health benefit from some employees and to end sick pay for the first three days of illness.
Union leaders say there was no proper consultation for these decisions, a breach of the Employments Relations Act 1999.
Dave Springbett, T&G regional industrial organiser, told the Plymouth Evening Herald: “At the end of the day, if a company wants to make changes to terms and conditions, it should consult with employees. Brittany Ferries believe that the law does not apply to them.
“The union is not taking this as a test case, we are taking it to protect members who, quite rightly, feel aggrieved that an employer, who in many cases they have worked for for years, is taking away two items which give them security,” he said.