Glass workers in Yorkshire and Scotland to strike over pay

6 August 2013
Unite Press release…

Workers at glass manufacturers, Ardagh Glass in Yorkshire and Scotland will be embarking on a series of strikes, starting next week, in a dispute over a “very inadequate” pay offer.

The workers, members of Unite, the country’s largest union and the GMB union, have voted overwhelmingly for strike action and for industrial action short of a strike.

The strikes, which will hit shifts at Barnsley, Doncaster and Knottingley in Yorkshire and at Irvine in Ayrshire, are due to start on Friday 9 August and continue to Monday 9 September.

Ardagh Glass, a highly profitable firm which made £65 million in pre-tax profits last year, employs about 1,300 workers.

Unite today (Thursday 1 August) called on the management to get around the table before the strikes began to negotiate a meaningful and fair pay settlement.

At Irvine, strikes will affect different shifts on 10, 11, 12, 16 and 19 August and 1, 2, and 6 September.

At Barnsley, strikes will affect different shifts on 9, 10, 12, 15 and 27 August. At the Knottingley and Doncaster sites, strikes will affect different shifts on 9, 10, 15 and 23 August and 2, 3 and 8 September. All day shifts at Knottingley and Doncaster will be affected on 12 August and 9 September.

Unite workers at the Yorkshire sites voted by a margin of 90 per cent in favour of industrial action short of a strike and by 84 per cent for strike action.

Unite members at Irvine voted by a margin of 88 per cent in favour of industrial action short of strike and 83 per cent for strike action.

Unite deputy regional secretary Tas Sangha said: “Our dispute centres on the wage award for 2013.  Our claim is for more than the current retail price index rate, which rose to 3.3 per cent in June.

“Unite is ready to hold talks with the management prior to the strikes beginning next week, so we can reach a fair settlement for our members. This is a highly profitable company.

Unite regional officer for the Ayrshire plant Jim Winter said: “It is very disappointing that the management has refused to engage with the conciliation service, Acas.

“It should also be pointed out that our members also made large sacrifices when the final salary pension scheme was closed and there have been changes to the sick pay scheme which also hit our members.”

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