Members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, employed by Imperial Chemical in Stowmarket, Suffolk, will begin strike action later this month following a derisory pay offer by the company.

Huge yes vote

The workers, who recorded a 94 per cent yes vote in favour of strike action, have been offered a pay increase of just 4.3 per cent. With the real rate of inflation, RPI, now running at 14.2 per cent, this amounts to a huge real terms pay cut.

The workers will initially take two 24-hour periods of strike action on Wednesday 30 November and Wednesday 7 December.

The workers are principally employed as production operatives and produce paint. The most popular brand is Dulux paint and the strike action will quickly result in shortages of the product in DIY stores and supermarkets.

Wealthy company

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This is an incredibly wealthy company whose desire to drive down workers’ pay is being driven by greed not need.

“The company needs to rethink its deplorable pay offer, return to negotiations and propose a fair deal. The jobs, pay and conditions of our members is Unite’s top priority and we will be supporting the workers at Imperial Chemical every step of the way.”

Imperial Chemical’s parent company Akzo Nobel is incredibly wealthy. This year it has been involved in a one billion euro share buyback scheme and is undertaking a further 500 million euro share buyback by early next year.

Paint shortages

Unite regional officer Mark Jaina said: “The strike action will inevitably create shortages of Dulux paint as well as other products but this dispute is entirely of the company’s own making.

 “Unite has made every effort to resolve this dispute through negotiations but it has refused to address members’ concerns. It needs to start listening to its workers, return to the negotiating table and dramatically improve the pay offer.”


For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

Email: [email protected]

Unite is the UK and Ireland’s 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.