The millionaire owner of
Blackpool-based luxury car manufacturer TVR, Nikolai Smolenski, has been accused of attempting to
intimidate members of the T&G union ahead of a crucial hearing today on the
union’s recognition claim.
The T&G won
recognition at the Blackpool company to negotiate on pay, hours
and holidays after a lengthy campaign and detailed examination by the Central
Arbitration Committee (CAC).
However, the T&G has
accused Smolenski of
delivering an ultimatum that the staff at the Bristol
Avenue site either back
him or the union.
Richie James, the T&G regional industrial
organiser, said: “These anti-trade union tactics, calculated to drive fear into
the hearts of the workforce, will do nothing to inspire real trust. We know it
is difficult but we would urge our members to hold their nerve.”
Today’s hearing is being held
by the CAC, the independent body established under the legislation to rule on
trade union recognition.
Members of the CAC will be
asked to determine the size of the bargaining unit (the group of unionised
employees). The company argues that it should be 305. The T&G has argued it
should be 236.
TVR has 400 workers at its Bristol
Avenue factory in Blackpool.