Unite has confirmed that its members employed in the manufacture of coffins for Cooperative Funeral Care have voted for strike action with an initial week of action scheduled for August in a dispute over pay. The site is the Coop’s only coffin production site.
Unite members voted for action by 96 per cent on an 86 per cent turnout. The initial strike action is scheduled to take place from Monday 22nd August 2022 and will continue each day up to Monday 29th August 2022.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “The employer involved here walked away from the negotiating table. We expect more from an organisation that promotes itself as principled and claims to demonstrate a fairer way of doing business. They should start by showing they are different from some of the bad employers we deal with day in day out, by treating their workers fairly and get back round the table with a decent offer for our members.”
The dispute is a direct result of Co-operative Funeral Care’s refusal to return to the negotiating table following members’ rejection of a measly 3% final wage offer.
Willie Thomson, Unite industrial officer, added, “Workers at Coop Funeral Care are rightly furious. Our attempts to work constructively towards a resolution have been contemptuously dismissed with the Coop displaying an unacceptable ‘take it or leave it’ attitude. Our members, recognised as essential workers, deserve better from an employer who promotes social goals and giving back to communities. In the worst cost of living crisis in decades our members deserve better.”
By Elizabeth Cairns