Members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, will begin strike action next month at the glass manufacturing and logistics company ENCIRC Ltd, based in Elton, Cheshire, in a dispute over working patterns and contracts of employment.

Less favourable treatment

The dispute involves workers in ENCIRC’s glass manufacturing section, who believe that they are being treated in a less favourable manner compared to the company’s other departments.

Over 170 workers were balloted for industrial action, as the introduction of flexible working practices has resulted in an insufficient pay uplift, the loss of flexibility when annual leave can be taken and a reduction in staffing levels giving rise to health and safety concerns.

Huge yes vote

The workers involved recorded a 95 per cent yes vote in favour of strike action.

A total of 12 days of strike action have been announced for next month with the first 48 hour strike beginning on Thursday 6 May. This will be followed by a further 48 strike beginning on Thursday 13 May. Later in the month there will be two four day stoppage beginning on Wednesday 19 May and Wednesday 26 May.

The strike action is set to lead to a major disruption to ENCIRC’s business and likely to cause a shortage of glass bottles for the company’s two major clients Diageo and AB InBev.

Brands affected

Popular brands that will be affected by the strike include Budweiser, Yellow Tail wine, Baileys, Coors Light, Jameson and Pataks curry brand.

Unite has sought to follow the existing dispute resolution process to resolve the industrial dispute, via the conciliation service Acas but the company has declined to discuss the core matters at the centre of the dispute.

Equality and fairness

Unite regional officer Andrew Johnson said: “This dispute is about equality and fairness, workers in the glass manufacturing division are not being treated in the same way as workers in other sections of the company.

 “If the strike goes ahead it will cause major disruption to the supply and distribution of major brands.

 “Given the overwhelming vote in favour of industrial action it is very disappointing and somewhat surprising that ENCIRC has not shown more determination to resolve this dispute and avert strike action.

 “Unite’s members are taking strike action as a last resort because their concerns have been ignored.”

 “Unite believes that if ENCRIC is prepared to address the concern of members this dispute could be resolved and strike action avoided, even at this late stage.”

 ENDS

Notes to editors:

During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.

For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

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.