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Warehouse staff and drivers to strike at Indesit

14 August 2015

More than 200 drivers and warehouse staff at Indesit UK are gear up for four days of strike action in a pay dispute.

The workers, members of Unite, will be striking for 24 hours on 21 August; for 48 hours on 27 August and 24 hours on 1 September. All the strikes will start at 06.00.

This action will be coupled with a work-to-rule from 00.01 on 19 August until 06.00 on 21 August and from 00.01 on 25 August until 06.00 on 27 August.

Unite says the crux of the dispute is that company has not budged on its original pay offer of 1.5 per for the year starting January 2015, after further talks between Unite and company bosses.

The firm has moved on such issues as guaranteeing the 45 hour-a-week for redundancy pay and bringing forward the introduction of the London weighting for drivers’ assistants to this year.

However, the new package was overwhelmingly rejected when put to the members.

Unite regional officer Mark Plumb said: "It is abundantly clear that this dispute centres on the derisory 1.5 per cent offer which was below inflation at the time of the anniversary date in January.

"Our members are tired of being fobbed off year-on-year with one-off bonuses, which may never materialise or when they do are worth virtually nothing. Our members are seeking a substantial increase in their basic pay after years of below inflation pay rises.”

Originally, the staff voted by 93 per cent for strike action and 97 per cent for industrial action short of a strike, after years of below inflation pay awards. In 2014, the pay award was also 1.5 per cent, when the inflation rate was two per cent.

The drivers, attendants and warehouse staff are based at: Andover; Barnsley; Chepstow; Gateshead; Grangemouth; Hayes (west London); Mallusk (Newtonabbey, Northern Ireland); Trafford Park (Manchester); Raunds (Northamptonshire); Sharpness (Berkeley, Gloucestershire); Wednesbury (West Midlands); and West Thurrock (Essex).

An Indesit spokesman said: "We are disappointed that Unite have taken this course of action. We have made a number of concessions in our ongoing efforts to avoid strike action, including additional bonus options to enhance the pay offer.

"Our priority is to minimise any service disruption to both our customers and our retail partners, so we remain committed to dialogue with Unite and hopeful the action they have called can be averted."