Unite, the UK’s largest union, has announced an intensification of strike action in the dispute with Essex concrete maker Tarmac Building Products Ltd over the creation of a two tier workforce.

Unite has announced a 48 hour strike starting on Wednesday 28 March from at 06:00 and ending on Friday 30 March, at the Stanford Le Hope based company which produces concrete breeze blocks. These are in addition to this week’s two 24 hour stoppages on Tuesday 20 and Thursday 22 March, which had already been announced.

Unite is escalating the dispute which has already seen seven days of strike action this year, after the company would not agree to a level playing field.

All the strike action has been solidly supported by the Unite members and it is understood that the industrial action has greatly affected the company’s production of concrete blocks.

Unite regional officer Guy Langston said: “Unite is escalating the dispute as a direct result of Tarmac’s imposed contracts.

“We told the company that unless we can negotiate on a level playing field our members would retaliate. We have an imposed contract of employment for new starters that is simply unacceptable to our members. We have advised Tarmac to tear up this contract and get around the table for meaningful talks to resolve what is simply a bypassing of the agreed process.

“Unite members believe that if these changes are unchallenged there will be a domino effect and the pay and conditions of all staff members will come under attack.

“The strikes are clearly having an effect on Tarmac’s production capabilities and it must surely be in management’s interests to enter into proper negotiations to resolve this dispute.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235.

Email: barckley.sumner@unitetheunion.org

Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: unitetheunion.org

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.