Workers at glass manufacturers Ardagh Glass in Yorkshire and Scotland will be balloted on industrial action, following a “very inadequate” pay offer from the highly profitable firm.
Unite, the country’s largest union, will be balloting its members on strike action and industrial action short of a strike. The ballot opens on Monday 8 July, closing on Monday 29 July.
Ardagh Glass employs about 1,300 workers at sites in Barnsley, Doncaster and Knottingley in Yorkshire and at Irvine in Ayrshire. It made £65 million in pre-tax profit last year.
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 3.1 per cent in May.
“Our membership also made big sacrifices when the final salary pension scheme was closed and there have been changes to the sick pay scheme which were, again, detrimental to our members.
“Following months of negotiations, the company offered two per cent, way below the increase in the cost of living and this was rejected by 97 per cent of our membership in a consultative ballot.”
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 and will not meet the trade union side without pre-conditions, which we don’t think are conducive to meaningful negotiations.
“We are, therefore, going to a ballot for industrial action on this very inadequate offer, given that this company is highly profitable – profits that our members help generate.”
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940 and/or Unite press office on 020 3371 2065.
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.