Packaging workers to strike over pay


Corrugated packaging employees are to takeĀ industrial action in a dispute over pay.

Staff based at packaging factories operated by DS Smith, Saica and Smurfit Kappa have voted to reject a proposed 2% pay rise. Industrial action was approved by members via a ballot vote.

Around 2,500 members of the GMB and Unite trade unions will take part in the industrial action, which will include an overtime ban from Saturday 26 November 2016 and a day of strike action on Monday 28 November 2016.

Stuart Fegan, national officer at GMB, said: ā€œOur members are clearly fed up of seeing their employers make increasing profits in this sector while their wages fall behind in real terms. We urge the employers to get back around the negotiating table and make an offer to our members in respect of their pay claim, which recognises the profits these [organisations] are making and the contribution of our members towards those profits.ā€

Ian Tonks, national officer at Unite, added: ā€œAt no time during our meetings with the [organisations] did they raise the [issue of] affordability. Clearly these are profitable [organisations] and our members recognise their contribution towards that profitability and their efforts need rewarding.ā€

A spokesperson for the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI), which has been involved with the negotiations, said: ā€œThe [CPI] is disappointed with the result of the ballot for industrial action. The industry believes that its pay offer of 2% is fair and reasonable and reflective of the sector performance. The offer is in line with the median settlement level, which is currently being realised in the manufacturing sector, and it is also above inflation.

ā€œThe [CPI] is committed to supporting collective bargaining within the Corrugated National Agreement. The industry has put forward a good offer and we hope that a speedy resolution to the current situation can be reached.ā€