Unite has notified management at Crumlin-based Langford Lodge that their workers will commence a first week of strike action in pursuit of a pay increase from 00.01am on Thursday 26 May.

The union also wants the scandal of unequal pay addressed at the company.  A significant grouping of women machinists for example are being paid £1.93 per hour less than male colleagues while they do work of similar or equal value.

The strike is an escalation of an overtime ban previously in force at the RLC Engineering-owned, precision engineering aerospace manufacturer.

Last minute talks failed to result in agreement on the pay and equality improvements sought by Unite, leaving the union’s members with no alternative but to follow through on plans for a first week of strike action.

Unite the union General Secretary Sharon Graham expressed support for the workers of Langford Lodge:  “It is a scandal that in this day and age we have women being paid substantially less than their male colleagues while doing work of similar or equal value. Langford Lodge needs to address this immediately and also get real on pay generally.  There’s a living costs crisis which is destroying the value of earnings - our members need pay that protects themselves and their families. 

“The Langford Lodge workforce has the full support of myself and everyone in Unite in this industrial dispute for improved pay and equality. If they don’t see sense beforehand, management will learn the hard way that their workforce deserves better.”

Regional officer for Langford Lodge, Kieran Ellison, said management knew what was needed to avoid a strike and the impact it would have on production onsite: “Langford Lodge bosses could have avoided this strike action by following through on their commitment to both improve pay and address pay inequality issues.

“They need to recognise the determination of their workers to secure a decent pay increase to insulate themselves from surging inflation. Our members also want to see an end to unfair pay. They know what they need to do to avoid this strike. Unite remains ready to engage with this employer to settle this dispute but that must mean the interests and needs of my members are addressed comprehensively.”