Westex Carpets staff to strike over ‘insulting’ pay freeze
- Tuesday 19 November 2019
Staff at West Yorkshire carpet manufacturer Westex Carpets will go on strike tomorrow (Wednesday 20 November) in a dispute over pay, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, has said.
Unite members will begin continuous strike action at two Westex Carpet sites in Cleckheaton and Dewsbury tomorrow after the company tabled a pay offer of 2.2 per cent, which was subsequently rejected by the membership.
Westex Carpets responded by taking the offer off the table and implementing a pay freeze until at least April 2020.
The company cited financial difficulties for the pay freeze, despite making pre-tax profits of £5.44m during 2018/19 and £5.164m in 2018/17.
The membership believes that Westex Carpets’ profits will continue at the current level and voted in favour of strike action that will last until the dispute is settled.
Unite regional officer Kelvin Mawer said: “After its initial penny-pinching pay offer was rejected, Westex Carpets dug itself into a hole by pettily rescinding it and implementing an insulting pay freeze that was justified with a paper thin excuse about cash flow.
“This strike will severely impact Westex’s production capabilities and was entirely avoidable. Our members will not back down or be fobbed off with empty claims about financial constraints that are contradicted by Westex’s pre-tax profits of £5m a year.
“Unite urges Westex’s management to deescalate this dispute by ending the pay freeze and returning to the negotiating table.”
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07967 665869.
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.