Strike Threat At Dumfries Manufacturer Over Pay-Cut Imposition On Key Workers
Hundreds of workers at Gates Power Transmission, who have maintained full production throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, will be balloted for industrial action over their employer’s attempts to impose real terms cuts on pay and conditions.
Their union GMB Scotland has served formal notice to management at the Dumfries based manufacturer that a statutory ballot, asking workers whether they will support strike action and action short of strike, will run from Monday 21 June until Monday 5 July.
It follows weeks of fruitless negotiations between union representatives and Gates, with the employer refusing to improve the terms of a paltry 0.5 per cent rise on the basic rate of pay for workers over the next eighteen months.
The employer is part of the Gates Corporation which has recently posted eye-watering sales of $881.3 million for the first quarter of 2021, up a remarkable 24 per cent on the prior year quarter (see Notes to Editors).
GMB Scotland Organiser Ude Joe Adigwe said:
“A below inflation pay offer is an absolute insult for workers who Gates insisted were part of the frontline response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Full production has been maintained at the Dumfries site over the last fifteen months, with workers producing parts for ventilators as well as the core business of driving belts for cars.
“By sacrificing their own wellbeing, they have helped the business generate an excellent financial outlook in these unprecedented times.
“There really is no excuse for Gates’ failure to give these workers the proper recognition and value that their efforts deserve.
“The ball is in the Gates’ court. They can either do the right thing and up their offer or face the real prospect of industrial action over the summer.”
Contact: GMB Scotland Organiser Ude Joe Adigwe on 07912 560805 or GMB Scotland Communications on 07976 447077.
Notes to Editors:
“Gates Industrial Reports First Quarter 2021 Results”, Gates Corporation, 10 May 2021, access at: << News (gates.com)>>
“Union official questions Dumfries factory bosses why they are still open during coronavirus crisis”, Dumfries & Galloway Standard, 3 April 2020, access at: << Union official questions Dumfries factory bosses why they are still open during the coronavirus crisis - Daily Record>>