Workers at United Drug Sangers NI to take first day of strike action on Wednesday 15th July

unite-white-out-of-redManagement pay offer rejected and strike action endorsed by large majorities

Twenty-four hour stoppage likely to result in disruption of medical supplies to pharmacies and medical centres

July 7th: Unite Regional Officer with responsibility for the union’s membership in United Drug Sangers, Sean Smyth; confirmed workers were to commence a first twenty-four hour stoppage on the issue of a pay increase.

“The failure of management to make a genuine pay offer has led to the collapse of pay negotiations and forced Unite to ballot our members for industrial action.

“79.3% of workers based in Sangers’ warehouse and 97.7% of drivers voted for strike action in a recent ballot. Turnout in both ballots exceeded 70% reflecting the high degree of determination among workers to secure a fair deal on pay.

“Our members have made a huge contribution to the success of this company. Sangers posted almost £12 million profits last year, an increase of 73% on the previous year; a result that placed Sangers twenty-seventh in the top one hundred NI companies. Yet all the workforce has received for their efforts is a seven-month pay freeze.

“Workers will commence their strike action for twenty-four hours starting at 6am on Wednesday 15th July.

“Strike action is always a last resort for any trade union but we have been forced into this situation due to management intransigence. Indeed, management have refused our requests to take the case to the Labour Relations Agency in an attempt to avoid the industrial action. They have acted in a confrontational way and sought to provoke their workforce into industrial action.

“We are warning the public that management stonewalling is likely to result in significant disruption to the distribution of medical supplies as a result of strike action but even at this late stage it is not too late to avoid this adverse impact on the public. We urge management to reverse course, return to the negotiation table and enter meaningful talks on fair pay”, Mr Smyth concluded.

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