Picket lines formed outside Survitec’s site from 6.45 am today in all-out strike by workforce

Unite the union members working at Survitec, a manufacturer of marine life-saving equipment, commenced an all-out strike for a cost of living pay increase this morning at 6.45am.

Workers have previously rejected a pay offer of 6 percent and are seeking a pay increase that meets the real cost of inflation. Over the last year the retail price inflation index, the best measure of rising costs facing workers, peaked at 14.6 percent in the worst cost of living crisis in generations. Workers voted unanimously (100 percent) on an 80% turnout for strike action.

Survitec has had a highly successful period with sales expanding rapidly by more than 130% over the last four years – rising from £45.1m to £103.8m as demand for life-saving equipment has increased since the pre-pandemic period. The workers’ pay claim in Dunmurry would cost just £860k or less than one percent of sales, which the workforce believe can easily be covered by the company.

Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham offered encouragement to the workers striking for an inflation-proof increase.

“The workers at Survitec voted unanimously for strike action to win an inflation-proof cost of living increase. This is a highly successful employer who can well afford to meet the workers’ pay claim in full – given that workforce costs represent only a small proportion of overall costs.

“It is simply not acceptable that employers expect workers to pay the price of the current cost of living crisis. Those taking strike action know that they have the full support of myself and Unite in their fight.”

Regional Officer for the workforce is Neil Moore who spoke from the picket lines.

“This strike follows a vote in which the workers voted 100 percent for industrial action, after two years of insulting, below-inflation increases. They are determined to win a cost of living increase and management need to recognise the fact that this strike will shut down production at the Dunmurry site.

“The cost of the pay increase sought by the workers is less than one percent of this company’s total sales. In an unprecedented inflationary period where its sales have increased by more than 130% over pre-pandemic levels – Survitec can easily afford to pay their employees – even by a small increase to the cost of their product. The Survitec workforce is not going to accept paying the price for this crisis.”

Unite is the leading union in the UK and Ireland, dedicated to defending and improving members' jobs, pay and conditions. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.