A THREE per cent rise has been offered to workers at TS Tech in an effort to stem the flow of staff joining Unite.

The car seat manufacturer, which supplies Honda of the UK Manufacturing (HUM) in South Marston, announced it would bump up wages by three per cent last Wednesday.

Earlier that day, Unite, the union which is trying to boost its membership at the factory in an effort to gain official recognition, distributed a newsletter exposing the absence of a pay rise in April’s payslips, the month which traditionally includes an annual rise for staff there.

Officers at the union have said the eventual rise was decided in a crisis meeting, called after the newsletter was given to workers, in an effort to deter staff from joining the ranks of the union.

Matt Hill, the officer leading Unite’s charge for more members at TS Tech since February, said: “They (TS Tech) told the workforce the pay rise was planned all along, but I know a meeting was called for 4pm that afternoon, when it was decided.

“They did it because they knew people were going to start joining the union because they hadn’t had a pay rise.

“They accused us of using propaganda to sway their workers, but we were simply highlighting the facts.”

As a supplier to HUM, TS Tech has been under scrutiny since the car maker announced in March that it would be slashing 500 jobs.

Unlike South Marston Distribution Centre (SDC), another of HUM’s suppliers, TS Tech has remained tight-lipped on how many jobs would go at its factory, but estimates suggest two-thirds of all agency staff would be cut to reduce costs.

The last of those agency staff to leave the business are likely to work their last day next Monday, when the Highworth firm has suggested it would have announced the pay rise, out of sensitivity to those leaving.

Mr Hill said: “They haven’t shown any sensitivity in bringing replacements in alongside the temporary staff and showing them how to do their job whilst the temp still stands there.

“They may have had the pay rise ready to go, but they only announced it on the day we put our newsletter out.”

TS Tech was unavailable for comment.