Scottish Co-op coffin makers strike in pay offer row

Co-op Funeralcare
Credit: Silvi Photo / Shutterstock.com

Coffin makers employed by Co-op Funeralcare in Scotland have started a week of strike action in their campaign for an improved pay offer.

The employees rejected a pay offer, which they said equated to less than 5% when compared with the current rate of inflation of 12.3%.

The walk-out, which began yesterday (31 October) at Bogmoor Place in Glasgow, is expected to last until 7 November. If the dispute is not settled, further industrial action will begin on 14 November.

According to the union Unite, it will meet with Acas and the Co-op on behalf of the staff in order to hopefully seek a resolution.

A Co-op spokesperson said: “Our colleagues at our Glasgow coffin factory are a hugely valued part of our Co-op and following ongoing discussions with Unite we are disappointed that we have not been able to reach an agreement about pay. In spite of the difficult trading environment, we have offered all of our staff at the coffin factory a fair pay increase.

“We are confident that the combined base pay and production bonus for roles within the coffin factory remain highly competitive. We would like to provide full reassurance that the strike has no impact on our ability support to bereaved families and we are able to maintain a strong supply of coffins.”

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Willie Thomson, regional officer at Unite, added: “Our members are resolute in their determination to see the Co-op, an employer who likes to say that they do things better than some other employers, come to the table with a sensible offer.

“Our members are taking industrial action because they have been offered a pay rise that is significantly below the rate of inflation at a time when we’re facing the biggest cost-of-living crisis in more than 40 years. I think that shows their determination to win an offer that protects their living standards at the highest inflation that we’ve seen for 40 years.”