flooring

Derbyshire flooring workers to strike for 20 days over pay, as employment relations plummet at Ripley firm, says Unite

More than 70 production workers at Forbo Flooring UK Ltd in Ripley, Derbyshire will be staging ten 48 hour strikes in a dispute over a ‘paltry’ pay offer, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Wednesday 2 October).

The strikes were announced on the eve of two European directors of the multinational company flying in for a crunch meeting tomorrow (Thursday 3 October) at the High Holborn Road site over a culture of staff being undervalued and disrespected.

The first 48 hour strike – the first in recent times - will start on 15 October and be followed by 48 hour strikes on 22 and 29 October. There will be 48 hour strikes starting on 5, 12, 19 and 26 November. In December, the 48 hour strikes will commence on 3, 10 and 17 December. All the strikes will start at 00.01.

This will be accompanied by a continuous overtime ban commencing on 00.01 on 15 October. 

Unite members voted 61 per cent for strike action and by 60 per cent for industrial action short of strike action to reject a 2.2 per cent pay offer for the year starting 1 January 2019.

Unite regional officer Cheryl Pidgeon said: “Our members will be striking for the first time in recent years over a paltry pay offer that does not keep pace with the soaring cost of living.

“The current poor employment relations at the Ripley site are compounded by a culture which, we say, undervalues and disrespects our members. Because of this serious deterioration in employment practices, two European directors are flying in for a crunch meeting tomorrow.

“The management has now threatened our members that they will withdraw company sick pay to those who go on strike which we believe is illegal – this is yet another indication of the parlous state of employee relations.

“That said, there is now a window of opportunity before the first 48 hour strike begins on 15 October for the local management to improve both its pay offer and the employment relations’ environment.

“We believe that the industrial action will have a dramatic adverse impact on the company’s production schedules, so it is in its interests to sit down with Unite for constructive negotiations.”  

ENDS

Notes to editors:

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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