Workers at Tarmac Building Products Ltd are set to step up strike action in a dispute over the creation of a two tier workforce, their union Unite has warned.
The strike action began at the Stanford Le Hope based company which produces concrete breeze blocks, following the company’s plans to introduce a two tier workforce, with new starters receiving lower pay.
Yesterday (Thursday 8 February) was the third day of strike action, which was solidly supported, and further strikes are scheduled for 20, 22 February and then 20, 22 March. The first two strikes were on 30 January and 6 February.
Hopes of a resolution to the dispute were dashed when the company which had initially indicated that it was prepared to enter into negotiations, failed to make an offer Unite’s members would accept, and instead complained about the economic damage the strike was causing to the business.
Unites members believe that if the company’s proposals are not challenged it will result in cuts to pay and conditions for the entire workforce.
Unite regional officer Guy Langston said: “Unite is preparing to step up strike action in this dispute as a direct result of Tarmac’s failure to enter into constructive negotiations.
“This week we believed we had made a breakthrough only for the company to dash our hopes of a settlement by failing to make any kind of offer to resolve this strike.
“If Tarmac is so concerned that the strike is causing damage to its business then the company should sit down with the union and engage in proper negotiations.
“Unite is available for meaningful negotiations at any time, it is time simply waiting for Tarmac to make the next move.”
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235.
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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.