Members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, employed at Klarius Products Ltd in Stoke-on-Trent, will begin a series of strikes later this month in response to the company’s threats to fire and rehire them, drastically reducing sick pay for some of its most long serving and loyal workforce.

Two-tier workforce

The problems at the company are a result of the creation of a two-tier workforce. Workers on the traditional contracts receive a very fair company sick pay scheme, while workers on the inferior, newer contracts only receive statutory sick pay (SSP). Klarius’ solution is to introduce a new sick pay scheme but it would result in many workers experiencing sizeable cuts in their entitlement.

Unite has tried to resolve the issue through consultation but Klarius has refused to improve its proposals and as a result is now threatening to fire and rehire many of its workforce, with some of those being forced onto inferior contracts from next month.

Threat to sick pay

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Klarius is trying to cut workers’ sick pay to feather its own nest. This is a profitable company which can clearly afford to have a fair sick pay policy. Threatening to fire and rehire its loyal workers demonstrates the moral bankruptcy of Klarius’ management.

“Unite is entirely focused on the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and the workforce at Klarius will receive Unite’s unswerving support.”

16 days of strikes 

Unite has announced an initial 16 days of strike action. The first strike will take place on Tuesday 12 September (see notes to editors for full list of dates).

The company produces parts and spares of car emission equipment including exhausts, catalytic converters, diesel particulate filters, mounting and accessories, including aerosols and Adblue.

Klarius is in a healthy financial position and its latest accounts filed at Companies House show that it had gross profits of nearly £8 million.

Parts shortages 

Unite regional officer Darren Hall said: “The strike action will inevitably lead to shortage and supply problems for car spares but this dispute is entirely of Klarius’ own making. It has had every chance to reach an amicable resolution.”


For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications advisor Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235.

Email: [email protected]

Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.