Unite the union has today (10 January) confirmed that around 110 workers at print and publishing firm FLB Group in Dalkeith, which owns the Filofax and Letts brands, will take strike action this week in a dispute over pay.

The strike action will take place on Wednesday (12 January) at 6am and conclude at 05:59am on Thursday. It is the first of a series of 24 hour stoppages commencing every Wednesday into Thursday until 31 March. 

Some 95.7 per cent of the eligible workforce previously voted in support of strike action in late November on an 84.4 per cent turnout.

The pay dispute originates from early 2021 when Unite’s members were informed by FLB that there would be no pay rise. Due to pressure from Unite, the company made several unsatisfactory offers that ended with a below inflation two-year offer of 2.75 per cent.

Unite is demanding a six per cent pay increase at a time when the cost of living is at a ten-year high. The Retail Prices Index stood at 7.1 per cent in November 2021.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite’s members at FLB are infuriated by the company’s attitude over pay. The FLB Group had a turnover of £20.3m in 2020 and it’s able to award at least one company director £200,000 a year. Yet the best it can do is offer a real terms pay cut. The workers at FLB have the full support of their union in this dispute over jobs, wages and conditions.  Workers are fighting back because they have simply had enough of being treated like an afterthought by management.”

Unite regional officer Carrie Binnie said: “The workers will start 24-hour stoppages every Wednesday from this week until the end of March. FLB has made several derisory offers to its workers despite the company having a healthy order book. This action can still be averted if the company get back to us with an offer which matches our ask and one which the workers deserve. If they do not then rolling strike action will hopefully knock some sense into management.”