'No other option but to strike'

Sunrise Medical workers in Dudley to take strike action over pay

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Workers at electric wheelchair maker Sunrise Medical based in Dudley have voted for strike action in a dispute over pay.

Four separate days of strike action have been called, which will cause widespread disruption to production at the Brierley Hill factory. The strikes will take place on Monday, June 14 , Friday, June 18, Monday, June 21 and Friday, June 25.

The workers are seeking a three per cent pay increase and an additional day of holiday for Christmas Eve. Workers were balloted for strike action as a result of a breakdown in pay talks.

Workers were particularly disappointed with the response of management as they have worked hard in recent years to support Sunrise Medical through a period of intense organisational change, the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit.

While strike action has been called there is still the possibility of the dispute being averted by the company returning to the negotiating table or successful talks being brokered by the conciliation service Acas.

Unite regional officer Su Lowe said, “Workers at Sunrise Medical have repeatedly gone the extra mile to ensure the company is successful.

“They simply wish for their hard work, flexibility, commitment and dedication to be properly rewarded,” she added.

“The breakdown in pay talks means that the workforce felt that they had no option but to take strike action, very much as a last resort,” Lowe continued.

“If strike action does occur it will inevitably result in major disruption to the production of electric wheelchairs at the factory.

“Even at this late stage strike action can still be avoided either by Sunrise Medical returning to the negotiating table with an improved offer or through constructive talks brokered by Acas.”

By Barckley Sumner

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