Talks continue to avoid more strikes at black cab manufacturer LEVC

LEVC black cab parked on a street being charged at a charging station.

Bosses at iconic taxi manufacturer LEVC are continuing talks to prevent further strike action, which union officials say “severely impacted” vehicle production.

Last month, about 100 workers at LEVC’s Coventry factory went on strike in a dispute over pay. Since the walk out, union members have also introduced a ban on overtime, with the threat of more strikes if the dispute is not resolved.

Global market

The UK’s iconic black cab manufacturer reached 10,000 global sales of its TX model last year, following a record number of sales in 2022. This year, the company also launched its luxury people carrier.

The L380 Multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) is the company’s first step into supplying electric travel solutions. It provides luxury within the Chinese market with a top price of £52,400, with availability for 8 seats and a panoramic glass roof. The company anticipates producing the L380 for British markets within two years, as well as other overseas customers.

Slow down

LEVC saw a drop in sales of the TX model in August of last year, with only 61 being sold as opposed to the 82 sold in August 2022, according to Taxi Point. The dip in sales had a knock-on effect on fleet numbers, as the number of cabs coming off surpassed the number of cabs being licensed for the first time.

Union members claim the recent dip in sales is the reason their pay claim is not being met. LEVC Coventry worker Paul told the Socialist Worker news site: “We’ve never had a decent pay rise in the eight years we’ve been at the factory in Ansty Park.


“Pay has gone down and down past where it should be. The union ran some numbers and found that it was almost 20 per cent below the industry average. Our pay is now only about £2 or £3 more than the hourly minimum wage.”

The workers requested a 5% increase and a £1,000 lump sum, but bosses came back with a 3.5% increase and a £350 lump sum. This offer was rejected, and Paul told Socialist Worker: “Then they offered us an extra £50 lump sum. The workers thought this was insulting — what’s an extra £50? It’s not even a weekly food shop for a family. It wouldn’t even pay a bill.


“Finally, we got offered a 4 per cent rise with a £500 lump sum, but the bosses said this wouldn’t be back-paid to January and we’d only get back pay from April.

“They said this was their final offer. Workers rejected again and voted to strike.”

About 100 workers from the factory in Coventry went on strike on June 13th, which “stopped production” according to the union.

Since then, negotiations between LEVC and the union have continued, but Paul said that workers would continue to strike if they did not receive the offer they wanted.

Further action

The Unite union has said that further strike dates will be called if the dispute is not resolved, adding that industrial action will “severely impact” vehicle production at the plant.

Unite regional officer Vivienne Martin said: “The company has no one to blame but itself for the disruption that will be caused to its operations through its refusal to table a fair pay deal after years of real terms wage cuts. Industrial action can still be avoided but that will require an offer that is acceptable to our members.”

It is hoped that an agreement can be reached so that production of the iconic electric British black cab will continue to meet demand as more taxi drivers make the switch from petrol and diesel cabs to greener EVs.

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