Newton Aycliffe dust mask workers to begin strike acti...

Newton Aycliffe dust mask workers to begin strike action next month

29 January 2018

Workers at dust mask and respirator maker 3M, based in Newton Aycliffe in County Durham, will begin strike action next month in a pay dispute.

The workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s largest union, will undertake a 24 hour strike on Tuesday 13 February with a further 24 hour strike taking place on Thursday 15 February. A ban on overtime will take effect from Friday 9 February.

The dispute is a result of the workforce rejecting a 1.5 per cent pay increase for 2017. The proposed pay increase which is just half the rate of inflation follows a series of below inflation pay irises in recent years.

The workforce had voted for strike action before Christmas but the union paused the action in order to allow negotiations, which would avert strike action, to take place. However 3M’s local management has failed to offer any meeting dates or improve the pay offer.

Unite regional officer Mark Sanderson said: “Workers at 3M are no longer prepared to see their standard of living continue to fall year on year.

“The workplace has co-operated with management in introducing new systems of working, which has resulted in their workload increasing but they feel betrayed that their efforts have not produced a fair pay increase.

“The constant failure to agree decent pay rises has destroyed morale at 3M which is having an effect on productivity.

“The management has brought this dispute on their own heads. Managers have had every chance of resolving the problem but have chosen not to do so.

“3M’s management need to understand that this dispute will not go away until they offer a fair pay increase for our hardworking members.

“Unite members have been left with no option but to take strike action.”


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235. Email: 

  • 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.