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Peterborough brick company faces strike over holiday dispute

Peterborough brick company faces strike over holiday dispute

26 March 2013

A brick company, near Peterborough, faces massive disruption due to a continuous strike by 13 burners from Monday 8 April in a dispute over holidays, Unite, the largest union in the country, has warned.

Hanson Building Products employs about 200 workers at its site at Whittlesey in Cambridgeshire and the dispute centres on a move by the management to unilaterally reduce the number of holidays for the burners from 25 to 21-days-a-year.

Last year, the company transformed the working conditions of everyone working at the Peterborough Road site, after lengthy negotiations produced a settlement on 24/7 working.

Unite regional officer Tony Ellingford said: “The major issue is the holiday entitlement where 13 burners had a holiday allocation based on the hours they worked which was 25 12-hour shifts, plus eight bank holidays.

“Now management has unilaterally removed four shifts from the burners’ holiday entitlement. Management has erroneously argued that this was all part of the 2012 agreement.

“The burners are incensed by what they had been told by local management.

“We have tried to discuss this and believe we put forward a potential solution, but the company was not interested. We have also suggested involving the conciliation service, Acas but management has rejected this avenue to resolve the dispute, as well.”

Unite said that management had promised all along that the burners’ holidays would not be affected. The burners are clearly key to the smooth operation of the site and if the kilns are not working, it will quickly stop work at the site.

ENDS

For further information please contact Tony Ellingford on 07904 057 360 and/or Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.