Kingspan Water and Energy staff strike over pay

Kingspan Water and Energy
Credit: T. Schneider / Shutterstock.com

Staff at fuel and water tank manufacturing firm Kingspan Water and Energy commenced strike action today (Monday 20 March) at its Northern Ireland factory, in a dispute over pay.

Pickets went up at 6am, with the strike set to impact production for the business, which employs 200 members of staff, as well as traffic flow outside of the site. A total of 65% of the employees, who are members of trade union Unite, voted yesterday to reject a 5% consolidated pay increase, adjustments to bonus pay and £750 one-off payment offer.

Almost all (99%) of the Portadown factory employees voted for strike action, with a 91% turnout. They said the deal failed to include a £1,000 cost-of-living payment, which was provided to all other Kingspan Water and Energy workers.

According to Unite, Kingspan’s 2022 revenue increased by 28% to £7.3 billion, which was a trading profit of £733 million, 10% higher than in 2021. Its shareholders received a dividend of £2.89 on every share last year, an increase of more than 8%.

Sharon Graham, general secretary at Unite, said: “Kingspan can afford a huge payout to shareholders but deny a cost-of-living pay increase to their workers, the source of their profits. The Kingspan workforce in Portadown can count on the full support of Unite and our £60 million strike fund in their fight for a cost-of-living pay increase.”

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Neil Moore, regional officer at Unite, added: “That reflects the determination of these workers to improve their pay and at the very least keep ahead of the rise in prices. These workers stand with the full support of Unite behind them. Unite is calling for the solidarity of all other workers for this fight for pay justice and respect.”

Kingspan Water and Energy was contacted for comment prior to publication.