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‘Inadequate’ pay offer

Sunderland crane workers to take strike action
Shaun Noble, Thursday, July 26th, 2018

Workers at a leading crane manufacturer in Sunderland will be striking for two days next month in a dispute over an ‘inadequate’ pay offer.


The 28 skilled crane assemblers at Liebherr Sunderland Works will strike from 7:59pm on Thursday, August 9 until 11:59pm on Friday, August 10. The action will be repeated on 16/17 August. The workers have already started an overtime ban.


Unite will be coordinating the industrial action with the GMB union which also has members at the Deptford Terrace site.


On its website, the global Liebherr Group boasts the highest turnover in the group’s history which stretches back to 1949 – a total of €9,845 million (almost €10 billion).


Unite’s members voted by 79 per cent for strike action after rejecting the company’s offer of three per cent, a £150 lump sum and an extra day off over the Christmas period for the year starting January 2018.


“While the company’s offer may appear reasonable, it has to be seen in context of past pay deals,” said Unite regional officer Mark Sanderson.


“In recent years, our members have accepted below inflation pay awards as the management said that business was not so good, but that when things picked up, there would be higher pay rises.


“Our very experienced members, who have contributed to the highest turnover in the Liebherr Group’s history, now want the firm to come good on its past promises and offer a generous pay rise to make  up for the years of below inflation increases.


“Our members take great pride in the high quality cranes they assemble for the oil and maritime industries, but feel that ‘enough is enough’ and that the current offer is inadequate.


“Unite’s door is open 24/7 for genuine pay talks with the management before next month’s strike action.”


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