Dettol bottles

Derby plant overtime ban in ‘working up to an extra four weeks a year’ row

Workers at Derby’s Reckitt Benckiser plant  will start a continuous overtime ban and work to rule from Thursday 11 July in the dispute about workers being asked to work for up to an extra four weeks a year. 

Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, announced today (Friday 28 June) that its 160 members will start the overtime ban and work to rule at Sinfin Lane from 18.00 on 11 July, after voting overwhelmingly for industrial action.

The crux of the dispute is that ‘heavy handed’ managers at the firm, which produces such iconic brands as Dettol and Mr Sheen, want to make the employees work  either an extra 107 hours or 157 hours a year, depending on their contract.

The workers voted by 74 per cent for strike action and by 83 per cent for industrial action short of a strike.

Unite said that the industrial action short of a strike, including the overtime ban and work to rule, was ‘a shot across the bows’ and that future strike action was on the cards, unless the firm came to the negotiating table with sensible proposals.

Unite regional coordinating officer Shaun Lee said: “Our members have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action, including strikes.

“However, we have decided that the overtime ban and work to rule from 11 July are a first shot across the bows and, if the company does not come to the negotiating table with sensible proposals, we will ratchet up the action to strikes later in the summer.

“We are blaming heavy-handed bosses in Derby for morale plummeting over the last two years and for these flawed plans where even Christmas, Boxing and New Year’s Day will be treated as normal working days.

“The bosses seem hell-bent on trying to force many workers to increase their working time by an extra 157 hours to 2,190 hours per year – this is unacceptable.

“Under these plans, which the company wants to introduce from 1 August, many employees could lose up to £1,600 a year as the hours they get paid overtime rates for currently will now be part of the normal working week.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

The industrial dispute that Unite members were balloted on relates to: “The employer imposing detrimental changes to Terms & Conditions, including increasing working hours to 2,190 per year.”

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065
Email: shaun.noble@unitetheunion.org

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

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