3 week-long strike set to begin over bonus dispute involving Kaefer and Altrad

Unite the union members are set to begin a three-week long strike tomorrow (18 April) at DSM’s Dalry plant.

The dispute is over the failure by Kaefer Limited and Altrad Babcock Limited to pay a local bonus to engineering construction workers who operate under the National Agreement for Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI) across the UK. 

 The workers are demanding a local bonus under the terms of the NAECI agreement in recognition of flexibility and work being undertaken to assist with the delivery of a new manufacturing plant. 

Kaefer and Altrad along with DSM, who own the manufacturing plant, have refused to enter negotiations over bonus payments. DSM’s parent group - Royal DSM N.V. Group – recently recorded a net profit of €1.7bn (£1.5bn) for 2022.

The strike action begins from 18 April and continues each day up to 8 May 2023 when the action will conclude at 23:59p.m. 

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “Unite’s members were classed as essential workers throughout the pandemic, and they contributed to keeping the Dalry plant running on a daily basis. This has helped to generate huge profits for the parent group Royal DSM.”

 “Unite’s members are determined to fight for what they deserve especially when they see other workers receiving local bonuses at similar plants across the UK. We will support our members all the way in their fight for better jobs, pay and conditions.”

DSM was awarded a grant of over £2 million from the second round of the Scottish Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (SIETF), which launched in December 2020.

DSM is in the process of constructing a new plant on the same area as the existing plant. The development is expected to cost more than £100m, and it has been supported by a £10m funding package from Scottish Enterprise.

The new plant will manufacture a product known as Bovaer which will be used as a feed additive for cows and other animals.

Siobhan McCready, Unite industrial officer, added: “Unite’s members working for Altrad and Kaefer are angry at being denied a local bonus.  

DSM is also in the process of building a new plant in Dalry worth an estimated £100m, and the workers have shown incredible flexibility and regularly turn out at short notice.”

The workers feel completely ignored by management who have refused to engage with us, so our members feel they have no choice but to take a stand.”

Unite members across Scotland are involved in local disputes over bonus payments involving NAECI workers, including at Grangemouth, Torness, and Mossmorran as workers continue to seek a further increase in bonus payments.