Construction supplies workers celebrate pay win

Workers at Chester-le-Street companies Birtley Group and Bowater Doors secure 9% pay increase

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Planned strike action at construction supplies companies Birtley Group Ltd and Bowater Doors Ltd has been called off after the workers accepted a nine per cent pay increase.

The workers, who are members of Unite were due to begin strike action in August, with further strikes scheduled in this month.

Following the announcement of industrial action, the employer returned to the negotiating table and made a vastly improved offer. The members then accepted the deal in a ballot.

The nine per cent increase is backdated to January, when RPI inflation stood at 7.8 per cent.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “This is a greatly deserved victory for our members, who by standing in unity were able to force the employer to make a vastly improved offer.

“This victory is a further example how Unite’s relentless focus on fighting for jobs, pay and conditions is delivering for our members.”

Unite represents over 120 members at the two companies. Although they are legally separate entities, the firms share the same premises in Chester-le-Street and have the same parent company, Hill & Smith Holdings Plc.

Unite regional officer Pat McCourt added, “This was an important win for our members and Unite will now build on this success in future negotiations at Birtley and Bowater.”


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