Multibillion corporation made an operating profit of £2.1bn in the first quarter of 2023

Workers employed by pharmaceutical giant GSK will stage a series of walkouts in a dispute over pay across the UK beginning in Montrose tomorrow (2 May) 

Over 160 workers who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, voted for strike action having rejected a below inflation pay offer of a six per cent pay increase, and a one-off lump sum of £1,300. 

Unite said the current offer represents a substantial real terms pay cut with the current inflation rate (RPI) standing at 13.5 per cent.

The strike action beginning in Montrose tomorrow (2 May) until 4 May at 6am, will then spread throughout the UK during May. The strike action includes GSK’s Irvine plant where Unite members will also begin strike action on Thursday (4 May). It will then spread to Barnard Castle, Ware, Worthing and Ulverston. 

The workers are striking on different dates at different times to maximise the effectiveness of the industrial action (see notes to editors). 

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This is a classic example of a corporation seeking to further boost its eye-watering profits at the expense of its workers.

Let’s remember that this is a multibillion corporation rolling in cash. It made an operating profit of £2.1bn for the first quarter of 2023. The first quarter I repeat. GSK could end this dispute right now by offering these workers a decent pay deal. The owners should know we are not walking away."

GSK is an incredibly wealthy multibillion corporation - its latest profit result reveal it made an operating profit of £2.1bn in the first quarter of 2023, while its turnover exceeded market expectations at £6.95bn.

The workers undertake a variety of roles at the company and include: engineers, process technicians, laboratory analysts, warehouse workers and fire officers. 

Bob MacGregor, Unite industrial officer, said: “The GSK strike action will begin in Montrose and then spread throughout the UK. It will inevitably result in widespread disruption at the Montrose plant. Yet GSK have deliberately chosen to escalate the dispute by walking away from negotiations. 

Unite will have no hesitation in supporting our members in Montrose every step of the way in the fight for fair pay.” 


Montrose 2 May at 06:00 until 4 May at 06:00.

Irvine: 4 May at 06:00 to 5 May at 06:00. 16 May at 06:00 to 17 May at 06:00. 30 May at 06:00 until 18:00.

Ware: 9 May at 06:00 to 11 May at 07:00.

Barnard Castle: 10 May at 06:00 to 12 May at 07:10

Worthing: 15 May at 07:00 to 16 May at 07:00. 19 May at 07:00 to 20 May at 07:00.

Ulverston: 24 May at 06:30 to 26th May at 07:10.