'Fair day's pay for fair day's work'

Unions announce industrial action at International Paint in Gateshead in pay and national collective bargaining dispute

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Members of the Unite and GMB unions employed at International Paint in Gateshead have announced strike action and an overtime ban beginning early next year in a dispute over pay and national collective bargaining.

The 400 plus workers at the company, which undertakes all aspects of the industrial process for specialised marine and industrial coatings as part of the AkzoNobel group, have announced an overtime ban beginning on Monday 4 January.

The overtime ban will be combined with two 24 hour strikes on Wednesday January 27 and Wednesday, February 10.

The dispute is over pay and the union’s seeking national collective bargaining rights for pay negotiations. The workers are seeking a three per cent pay increase backdated to the pay anniversary (April 1, 2020) with no changes to any other terms and conditions.

Peace talks were held earlier this week (December 17) but broke up without agreement, however the unions have tabled proposals for management to consider and are hopeful that an improved offer can be made that can be recommended for acceptance by our members.

Unite regional officer Steve Cason said, “Our members at International Paint are simply seeking a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.

“There has been no industrial action in over 100 years at the Gateshead site and we are committed in trying to resolve this dispute amicably to keep that excellent record intact.

“The overtime ban and the ensuing strike action will inevitably cause disruption to production and delays for customers,” he added.

“Workers only take industrial action as a last resort. Unite has sought a negotiated settlement but the company have failed to provide an offer which meets our member’s expectations.

“Even at this late stage, Unite remains committed to securing a negotiated agreement. The ball is now firmly in the employer’s court, it needs to put forward an improved offer to avoid industrial action.”

By Barckley Sumner

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