Kaefer contractors begin week-long strike in dispute over bonus payments

Members of Unite employed in engineering construction roles at the GSK plant in Irvine will resume strike action today (6 February) in a dispute over bonus payments.

Around 40 workers employed by contractor Kaefer Limited will take strike action from 07:30 a.m. on 6 February up to 07:29 a.m. on 13 February. A previous round of strike action took place from 9 to 23 January.

The current round of strike action is in addition to an existing discontinuous overtime ban which ends on 2 April. The industrial action will directly impact on the maintenance of the plant.

 The dispute is based on Unite members seeking a bonus payment of £2.37 an hour, the maximum allowed under the relevant industrial agreement (National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry [NAECI]). 

 Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite stands fully behind our members taking a further round of strike action at the GSK operated plant in Irvine. 

“Kaefer is still refusing to award our members what they are entitled to under a UK-wide agreement. GSK who are awash with profits is also standing idly by and permitting this situation to needlessly escalate. We will continue to support our members all the way in their fight for better jobs, pay and conditions at the plant.” 

The strike action involves electricians, scaffolder, cable pullers and labourers. GSK which operates the Irvine plant recorded sales of £7.8 billion in the third quarter of 2022, and a total operating profit of £1.2 billion.

 Unite industrial officer Paul Bennett added: “The new round of strike action which will last for a week is a reflection of the anger and disappointment our members feel at the way they are being treated. We are only asking for what our members are entitled to yet Kaefer seem determined to prolong this dispute rather than work with us to resolve it.

“Unite will not rule out further rounds of strike action because our members are determined to get what they are owed.”