Staff at Glen Dimplex in Craigavon have voted overwhelmingly for strike action, according to the union Unite.
A union spokesperson said around 85% of the 100 strong workforce backed industrial action claiming their demands for a Living Wage were rejected.
Announcing the results of a ballot of employees at GDC (Glen Dimplex) in Craigavon, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer Susan Fitzgerald confirmed that she would be meeting shop stewards to identify a strategic roll-out for industrial action in pursuit of a Living Wage.
She said currently workers at Glen Dimplex are paid less than £8.75 an hour which according to the independent, UK-based, Living Wage Foundation is the minimum hourly rate for workers to have a basic standard of living.
“With a very strong turnout in the ballot of 89%, Unite’s membership at Glen Dimplex (GDC) have voted with majorities of 85.7% voting for strike action and 91.4% voting for industrial action short of strike. This is an unprecedented and overwhelming vote that demonstrates the strength of this workforce’s determination to secure the Living Wage Foundation’s minimal pay baseline for decency.
“The workforce ask only that Glen Dimplex pay the living wage which is set at £8.75 and as a minimum keep pace with the rates set going forward. Our members have voted to raise themselves out of poverty pay permanently; they are determined that they will not be just another ‘in-work poverty’ statistic. These are hard working production workers who manufacture domestic heating equipment - surely they deserve better than poverty pay?
Pointing to the company’s profitability, Ms Fitzgerald said that bosses had nowhere to hide when it came to meeting the workers’ legitimate pay demand.
“The Glen Dimplex group is a highly successful global business. Their last accounts published showed an annual turnover of just below a billion euro, with profits for the year of €38 million and accumulated profits of €371. While the bosses claim they can’t afford to pay a Living Wage to those who produce that wealth day and daily, they managed to find €13 million to pay a dividend to shareholders for the year.
“I will be meeting with union reps in the workplace to agree strike dates as part of a roll-out strategy for the industrial action. I call on the bosses to address our members’ legitimate and very modest pay expectations in order to avoid an unnecessary and disruptive industrial dispute”, Ms Fitzgerald finished.
When contacted Glen Dimplex said there was no one available to comment.