Around 100 members at Dumfries based plant currently operating overtime ban

Unite the union warned today (31 July) that it would have ‘no option’ but to escalate industrial action at the Dumfries based DuPont plant in response to the company imposing a wage offer in April.

DuPont Teijin Films (DTF) is a major supplier of food packaging to all major UK supermarkets, as well as institutional catering for hospitals, schools and home-meals for the elderly. The company makes polymer film for use in industrial packaging, as well as healthcare, alternative energy, durable media, electronics, electrical insulation and capacitors. 

In June, Unite’s membership voted in support of taking strike action, and since July the workforce has operated an overtime ban in order to fight for a better pay offer with the broader rate of inflation (RPI) currently standing at 10.7 per cent. The strike ballot followed Unite accusing the company of by-passing the agreed collective bargaining procedures, and the workforce’s trade union representatives, to impose the wage offer. 

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham, said:The imposition of a wage offer on the DuPont workforce in Dumfries is totally unacceptable. Just over 3 per cent does next to nothing to help our members in this cost-of-living crisis. DuPont also shamefully by-passed the agreed bargaining processes and Unite representatives to impose this offer. If our members take the decision to escalate their industrial action, then they will have their union’s full support in the fight for better jobs, pay and conditions.” 

DTF across the UK recorded profits after tax of £2.86m year ending 31 December 2021 with turnover rising by 10 per cent from the previous year to £97 million. The company’s European manufacturing sites are based in Dumfries and Luxembourg, with its Global Innovation Centre located in Teesside. In 2017, the Dumfries plant was also awarded a £967,955 Scottish Enterprise grant.

Andy Macfarlane, Unite industrial officer, added: “Around 100 Unite members have operated a very effective overtime ban since June when our members gave us a mandate for industrial action. The mandate was in direct response to DuPont’s refusal to meaningfully engage with Unite, and then to completely ignore us over this year’s pay talks. We have no option but to consider all-out strike action at the Dumfries plant. It seems this is the only way to make DuPont management sit up and take notice.”