More than 70 production workers at Forbo Flooring UK Ltd in Ripley, Derbyshire will stage the first of ten 48 hour strikes tomorrow (Tuesday 15 October), after rejecting a new ‘unsatisfactory’ pay offer, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Monday 14 October).

The workers at the High Holborn Road site rejected a slightly improved two year package backdated to 1 January 2019 and running to 31 December 2020 by a large majority today.

Unite said that a culture of staff being undervalued and disrespected hangs over this dispute.

The rejected package included in year one (2019) 2.2 per cent on basic salary and a bonus from 1 January 2019; and a one-off additional two days holiday on 23 and 24 December 2019. 

In year two (2020), there would have been a 2.1 per cent increase on basic salary and a bonus from 1 January 2019.

The first 48 hour strike starting tomorrow (15 October) will be followed by 48 hour strikes on 22 and 29 October. There will be 48 hour strikes starting on 5, 12, 19 and 26 November. In December, the 48 hour strikes will commence on 3, 10 and 17 December. All the strikes will start at 00.01.

This will be accompanied by a continuous overtime ban commencing at 00.01 tomorrow. 

Unite regional officer Cheryl Pidgeon said: “This last minute slightly improved pay package has been roundly rejected by our members and, as a result, they will be starting the first day of ten 48 hour strikes tomorrow.

“This dispute has been marred by the inconsistent treatment of all employees; bullying and harassment; and a ‘we tell you, but you do’ culture. We offered to work constructively with the conciliation service Acas to resolve these issues, but this was firmly rejected by the company’s Swiss directors.

“We hope that tomorrow’s strike action will act like a cold shower of common sense and make these recalcitrant bosses realise that the industrial action, stretching up to Christmas, will have a dramatic and adverse impact on the company’s production schedules.

“Therefore, it is in management’s interests to sit down with Unite for meaningful negotiations – Unite’s door is open for such talks 24/7.”  

Unite members voted 61 per cent for strike action and by 60 per cent for industrial action short of strike action after rejecting the original offer of a 2.2 per cent pay offer for the year starting 1 January 2019.


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065 Email: [email protected]

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