Somerset pay battle

Unite balloon on the NHS anniversary march last year. The union is leading the pay strike in Somerset

PRODUCTION workers at Somerset firm Trelleborg Sealing Solutions Bridgwater are to strike for three days over a ‘paltry’ pay offer.

The Unite union said its 65 members will strike on 28 and 31 May and also on 5 June. Each strike will be for the whole day, covering all shifts from 00:01 until 23:59.

Unite announced the strike dates after recent talks with the management ‘hit a brick wall’.

The workers had already overwhelmingly rejected a 2.8 per cent pay offer for the year starting January 2019. The company, founded in 1935, makes specialist seals for high pressure engines.

Unite regional officer Tim Morris said: ‘Our members have decided to take three days of strike action over management intransigence in refusing to increase its paltry pay offer.

‘Ironically, this dispute is taking place after senior management frankly admitted that workforce productivity has gone through the roof.

‘That admission severely undermines the company’s refusal to negotiate constructively over pay. Recent talks with the company hit a brick wall, despite Unite presenting constructive ideas to resolve the situation.

‘The planned strikes have to be viewed in the context of this highly profitable company failing to take into account the huge increases in housing costs across Somerset.

‘This has been compounded by the fact that previous pay increases have also failed to keep pace with inflation and wages have repeatedly fallen behind the ever rising cost of living.

‘The first strike is due on 28 May.’