Pilkington owners NSG sitting on hundreds of millions but offer workers real terms pay cut

Glassmakers employed at the Pilkington factory in St Helens will take strike action over pay from 17 August to 23 August, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Monday 15 August). 

More than 170 workers, including production operators, warehouse staff, engineers and technicians, have rejected a five per cent pay offer. With the real rate of inflation (RPI) running at 11.8 per cent, this a pay cut in real terms.

Pilkington, which was founded 1826, is owned by the Japan-based Nippon Sheet Glass (NSG) Group. NSG’s financial reports for 2021/22 show it had a free cash flow of £134 million and made profits of £25 million. 

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Pilkington and NSG’s pay offer is a real terms pay cut. They can afford to pay these workers a decent rise. So they should pay. Our members' jobs, pay and conditions are this union's top priority, so the Pilkington workers will have the union’s full backing.”

Unite regional officer Richard O’Brien said: “Pilkington’s offer is a pay cut disguised as a rise. Our members are struggling with rocketing prices and they have Unite’s full support in striking for a pay rise that reflects the cost of living. Pilkington and NSG must now put forward a pay offer our members can accept.” 

GMB union members are also involved in the dispute.


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