The strikes over pay and shift patterns at Sierra Windows in Paignton, Devon could spread to another company in Newton Abbot, part of the same Specialist Building Products group.
A total of 44 workers at DB Glass at Newton Abbot are being balloted for strike action, as employees at Sierra Windows continue their rolling programme of 48 hour strikes.
The workers at both sites – members of Unite, the country’s largest union - have rejected a pay deal for the year April 2016 - April 2017 of 1.5 per cent, but would have only been payable from May 2017.
They are also angry that shifts have been changed unilaterally from five days of seven hours to four days of 12 hours.
Workers at DB Glass - a leading manufacturer of insulated glass units – started balloting for strike action yesterday (Tuesday 9 May). The ballot closes on 23 May.
Meanwhile, the workers at Sierra Windows are striking today (Wednesday 10 May) in their third 48 hour stoppage, with two further 48 hour strikes scheduled for 17 May and 24 May.
The union argues that the shift alteration is either not wanted by the staff because of the adverse impact on the work/life balance or because some will lose money under this new arrangement.
Unite regional coordinating officer Terry Keefe said: “Both these firms – Sierra Windows and DB Glass – are part of Specialist Building Products which is a profitable group.
“The issues at both sites are the same – the paltry pay offer and the imposition of unreasonable new shift patterns.
“Our members at Sierra Windows are striking again today and our members at Newton Abbot are voting on strike action – this dispute is set to spread across Devon.
“To paraphrase Oscar Wilde’s Lady Bracknell for the management,
‘to have one strike may be regarded as a misfortune; to have two looks like carelessness.’
“We call on the top bosses at Specialist Building Products to knock some sense into the local management at their two firms, so we can hold constructive talks to resolve the issues at the centre of the disputes at Paignton and Newton Abbot.
“Unite is ready 24/7 to take part in such talks.”
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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.