Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Formica Staff Strike for Third Time in Three Weeks

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Formica Staff Strike for Third Time in Three Weeks

Article excerpt

DISGRUNTLED employees planned to down tools and take to the picket line today in a dispute with bosses over pay.

Today's action is the third time in as many weeks that staff at Formica laminate factory in North Shields have staged a 24-hour walkout because of issues with pay and conditions.

Workers were last month offered an increase of 1.25%, branded "derisory" by GMB union members. It was later raised to 2%, and then to 2.5%. About 190 union members among the 300 staff were due to go back on strike early this morning.

A North East representative for the GMB said: "Management offered them an increase but have imposed conditions which would change their meal breaks.

"Management are looking at reducing the number of tea breaks or consolidating them into one and members are not happy. In an ideal world they would get the 2.5% without the strings."

A spokesperson from the company said: "Formica Limited has continued its discussions to try to reach a settlement with representatives of the GMB union regarding an appropriate level of cost of living pay increases, subsequent to an increased offer being made last week by the company which resulted in an evenly split ballot result. …

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