Four week strike to hit sales of world famous Barbour jackets, warns Unite

2 January 2015

From Unite: Barbour jackets at renowned retailers such as Harrods, Harvey Nichols and John Lewis could be in short supply over the coming weeks because of a four week strike warned Britain’s largest union, Unite.

The warning came as the union announced that workers at J Barbour and Son Ltd would be striking from Monday 5 January – Friday 30 January over forced changes to their contracts. The changes include the removal of the unsocial hours payment and the introduction of a requirement to work until 11 o’clock at night.

The Gateshead company, which prides itself on ‘family values’, was accused by the union of being ‘anti-family’ with its sign or be sacked ultimatum. Workers on less than the living wage, many with family and caring responsibilities, face being sacked if they don’t sign up to the new contracts by 30 January.

The three week strike follows a six day stoppage earlier in December and will see Unite members striking from 07:30 to 13:00 hours Monday to Friday from 5 January – 30 January.

Unite regional officer Fazia Hussain-Brown said: “Barbour’s sign or be sacked ultimatum is bullying and anti-family. Many of the workers struggling to get by on less than the living wage are the sole bread winner and have family or caring responsibilities.

“For a company that prides itself on ‘family values’ to seek to rail road through cuts and unsocial changes to their contracts is hypocrisy of the highest order.

“The company should not underestimate the resolve of the workforce nor the impact that four weeks of strike action will have on supplies.

“Barbour management need to live up to the company’s ‘family friendly’ values and negotiate a fair deal for its workforce.

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