Management tactics fail to dent workers’ resolve in fight for a fair wage deal as coffin strike likely to enter fourth month

Unite can today (Monday 19 December) confirm that the failure of the Coop to make an improved wage offer to their workforce will see the ongoing pay dispute continue beyond Christmas. Unite members at the Cooperative Funeralcare’s only UK coffin manufacturing facility in Govan is likely to enter its fourth month as workers continue to fight for a fair wage offer.

Workers will take strike action from Monday 19th December continuously until Friday 23rd December. (See notes to Editors)

Unite has recently uncovered that this year Cooperative Funeralcare has spent over £1,000,000 on purchasing coffins from 3rd party suppliers at a time when the dispute with their own workforce could be successfully resolved for a fraction of this cost. 

Sharon Graham Unite general secretary said: “Coop management said they had more than enough coffins to get them through this dispute. Well, first it turned out they didn’t have enough and have sought to buy coffins from a 3rd party supplier at huge cost. Second, they didn’t take account of the resilience of the workers. Management are clearly trying to break their own loyal workforce. In fact their model of industrial relations is straight out of Charles Dickens. Their actions are only adding to the discontent and determination of the workforce.

Willie Thomson said “The actions of Co-operative Funeralcare have been found lacking any Christmas spirit. The Co-operative values of a different, fairer and better way of doing business have been replaced with a Scrooge-like attitude to the current cost of living crisis our members face. Management would rather fork out cash to other coffin suppliers in the hope of breaking our members resolve, than to put a fraction of that money towards solving this dispute. 

 The continued actions of Co-operative Funeralcare are bad ethically, bad managerially and bad economically. It’s time for their Group CEO, Shirine Khoury-Haq to become personally involved and negotiate a resolution. The current actions of Funeralcare continue to tarnish the reputation of not only the Funeralcare side of the business but the wider Coop Group.


Notes to Editors

Picket line will be at Cooperative Funeralcare, 15 Bogmoor Place Glasgow G51 4TQ

Monday to Thursday 19th to 22nd 7:30 to 14:30

Friday 23rd 07:30 to 09:30