Strike action at trailer firm as pay deal rejected

Reporter:

Matt Jones

FACTORY workers went on strike yesterday for a second time in a dispute over pay and conditions.

Almost 40 full time staff at the Ifor Williams Trailers (IWT) factory on Deeside Industrial Park staged a second one-day walk out after negotiations over a pay deal broke down.

The firm has offered workers a 1.5 per pay rise for 2010 but the offer has been rejected and workers have vowed to continue the action.

UNITE spokesman Tony Brady said: “This is continued action. The company has not made any attempt to contact us. We are going to keep going with the action.

“The workers feel very disappointed that the company has not made any attempt to make contact. We were always under the impression the company wanted to get a resolution.”

Mr Brady said staff had not been given a pay rise since 2007 and were losing income as lucrative shift work is cut back.

A third day of action is planned for Wednesday, May 4, while negotiations over the 2011 pay award, which currently stands at no increase, have yet to begin.

The firm has its main site in Corwen and employs more than 60 people at Deeside. Workers say conditions such as compulsory overtime and less pay and holidays than the Corwen site was also behind the action.

An IWT spokesman said: “We respect the right to take action and we are always open to talk in a bid to resolve the situation. The offer would increase the hourly rate for all the affected production operators to £9.10 an hour which we believe is an attractive rate that is well above the average for the Deeside area.

“It represents a 1.5 per cent increase on basic/shift pay from April 1, 2011.

“In addition, we would pay a taxable lump sum of £318 and, despite continuing uncertainty in the economic climate, would protect the shift pay until February 28, 2012.

“The leisure and construction products assembled at Deeside have been particularly affected by the economic downturn and it is vitally important that the factory remains competitive so that we can provide long-term sustainability for the business and the employees.

“We are surprised that compulsory overtime has been raised as we have not worked overtime since July 2010 and there are no plans to work overtime in the foreseeable future.”

See full story in the Leader

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