Workers at the historic lock makers Henry Squire and Sons, based in Featherstone, Wolverhampton, will begin strike action next month in a dispute over pay, Unite, the UK's leading union, said today (Tuesday 21 September).

Low pay

The workers, who are members of Unite, were due to receive a pay increase in January but management refused to make an offer. Instead they have offered a 2.5 per cent increase for the period from July to December, which in real terms is worth just 1.25 per cent for the entire year.

The derisory offer is a significant real terms pay cut with the RPI inflation rate currently standing at 4.8 per cent.

Due a decent pay rise

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham saidWorkers at Henry Squire are long due a decent pay rise. The current July to December offer for 2021, is a pay cut in real terms. Understandably that has not been accepted by union members. It’s simple Henry Squire can avoid industrial action by Unite members. How? By making a decent wages offer.”

The first week long strike action will begin on Monday 4 October and there are similar week long periods of industrial actions scheduled to begin on Monday 25 October, 15 November and 6 December.

Padlock makers

The company makes padlocks and other locking mechanisms which are distributed by Screwfix and other suppliers. The strikes will bring production to a halt and shortages of the companys products will quickly follow.

The workforce at Henry Squire are typically paid around £9.50 an hour.

As well as the pay dispute, industrial relations at the family run workplace are at an all-time low due to the managements attitude to workers and a poorly handled redundancy programme earlier this year.

Workers fed up

Unite regional officer Su Lowe said: ”Our members at Henry Squire are totally fed up with the high handed and unfair demands of management.

 They feel that they are working harder than ever and that managements below inflation pay offer is treating them with contempt”.


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

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235.

Email: [email protected]

 Unite is the UK and Irelands leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.