Workers in Leicester at the specialist component maker, Trelleborg are taking two days of strike action from tomorrow (Thursday 20 November), after rejecting a new ‘insulting’ two pence-an-hour offer, which works out at an extra £39-a-year.
Over 160 members of Britain’s largest union, Unite, have been taking part in a series of stoppages, following the imposition of a below inflation pay offer by management at the Swedish-owned firm.
When management summoned union representatives to announce a new offer it worked out at £39-a-year, but coupled with the withdrawal of the annual bonus averaging about £600 – a net loss of £561.
As a result, the workers will be striking from 06.00 tomorrow (Thursday 20 November) until 22.30 on Friday (21 November).
Unite regional officer Lakhy Mahal said: “The two-man company team came with a pre-scripted offer with no authority to detract from it. This was no negotiation, but a take it or leave it insulting two pence-an-hour pay increase on the previous offer for 2014.
“But it did not stop there as the firm would withdraw our members’ annual bonus which was paying on average £600-a-year. However, all other staff would retain the bonus payments.
“The two pence-an-hour increase would give workers about an extra £39-a-year increase coupled with the £600-a-year decrease – in effect, a loss of £561-a-year for our members. Words fail us in trying to make sense of this offer from the company.
“Understandably, Unite members on hearing this were absolutely livid at being treated with such contempt and as second class employees - and will now be walking out on strike action tomorrow and Friday. Further all-out strikes are planned in the coming weeks.”
Unite said that the workers have worked hard to support the company, which has just won a lucrative contract with Bombardier and accepted a pay freeze to get it back on track last year.
Yet, despite a record year, members have grown increasingly frustrated by the company’s refusal to engage in meaningful talks and address their concerns over pay.
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940 and/or the Unite press office on 020 3371 2065.
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: unitetheunion.org
Notes to editors:
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.