Further talks on improving industrial relations to recommence after the summer
July 9th: Unite Regional Officer with responsibility for the union’s membership in United Drugs/Sangers, Sean Smyth, confirmed his union were suspending strike action and recommending members vote to accept a backdated pay offer from management:
“Our members at United Drugs-Sangers NI voted overwhelmingly for strike action which was due to commence on Wednesday 15th July. They were forced into an action which would have significantly disrupted supply of medicines across Northern Ireland by management insistence on a pay freeze and their refusal to engage in Labour Relations Agency mediation.
“Following press coverage of our strike action, management reconsidered and engaged us in a positive manner; they offered workers a three percent increase backdated to the beginning of January. This has allowed us to suspend the action and with a ‘vote to accept’ recommendation to our members.
“Sangers’ management has recognised that relations with the workforce and the union need to improve given the importance of avoiding industrial disruption and its impact on the supply of controlled medicines. They have agreed to re-engage after the Summer to formalise our relationship, agree mechanisms for the resolution of future pay deals and address our members’ wider terms and conditions concerns.
“I would like to personally thank Penny Holloway and the staff of the LRA for their time and support in securing this offer and the suspension of the strike action.
“This result has demonstrated once again that, by standing together with the support of a fighting union, workers can achieve substantial pay improvements”, Mr Smyth concluded.