Tomorrow Glen Dimplex staff in Portadown start two 24 hour strikes over workers’ demands for a Living Wage.
The industrial action, which will have one strike tomorrow (Friday) and a second 24 hour strike on Monday November 19, has been backed by Sinn Fein politicians in Upper Bann.
Regional Coordinating Officer Susan Fitzgerald of Unite said they had hoped to resolve the dispute at the Labour Relations Agency but Glen Dimplex bosses ‘entered those talks with apparently no intention whatsoever of meeting the workers’ legitimate expectation for £8.75 an hour’.
She said: “Bosses are refusing to bridge the 27p an hour gap, despite an offer made by workers to make a contribution from the small bonus they’re paid for exceeding 100% targets. Management’s approach has left workers with no alternative but to escalate their strike action in the mouth of Christmas.
“Glen Dimplex group, of which the Portadown GDC site is a part, last year reported more than €38 million in profits and provided a payment of almost €13 million to their owners through a holding company. Martin Naughton who is reported to be the ultimate owner of this highly profitable company is a billionaire who has received public accolades for his philanthropic activities while his workers have to live with the day-to-day consequences of in-work poverty.
Speaking on behalf of the Sinn Féin’s Cllr Catherine Nelson, Cllr Paul Duffy, Cllr Liam Mackle, Cllr Keith Haughian, Cllr Fergal Lennon and Cllr Kevin Savage, John O’Dowd MLA said: “The wage increase asked for by Glen Dimplex workers is reasonable. No worker wants to go on strike but they are being forced to take industrial action over a 27p an hour uplift.
“The workers and their union have been willing to engage and show compromise in their bid for a £8.75 an hour wage. The owners and management must show the same willingness to negotiate.
Mr O’Dowd said: “There is still time to avoid industrial action and we would call on the owners of Glen Dimplex in Portadown to pay their workers the small increase they have asked for.”