Unite confirms strike action dates at Newry Builders’ Merchants, Haldane Fisher

unite-white-out-of-redOvertime ban and twelve days of strike action to win cost-of-living pay increase at successful business

Workers demand to be rewarded for higher productivity and years of pay moderation

April 22nd: Unite Regional Officer, Sean Smyth, responsible for his union’s membership at Haldane-Fisher has called on management to act now to make a reasonable pay increase offer and avert unnecessary and damaging strike action by workers at the Newry builders’ merchants:

“Unite represents the overwhelming majority of the workforce at Haldane-Fisher. On a ballot with a turnout of forty workers (82%), they voted for strike action with a majority of 90% in pursuit of the demand of a decent pay increase. The ballot also confirmed overwhelming support for a ban on overtime which will commence on Tuesday, May 3rd.

“Management has offered a measly 2.25% increase which fails to reflect the reality that workers have endured years of below inflation pay increases and pay freezes in order to safeguard the future of the company in difficult times.

“In addition to this pay sacrifice, the eight redundancies in the saw mill has left sixteen workers covering a workload previously done by twenty-four – an increase of 50% in productivity.

“Now that Haldane-Fisher is enjoying increased profits on a substantially increased turnover, it is time that the workforce’s productivity and contribution are recognised with a real cost-of-living pay increase.

“Unite has written to management to confirm a first twenty-four hour stoppage to commence at midnight on Tuesday May 3rd. Eleven further days of strike action have been earmarked at this stage, every Thursday starting May 12th.

“We recognise that this programme of strike action will be damaging but have been forced into this situation by management unresponsiveness and intransigence. It is not too late for them to respond positively to the workforce’s just demands and make a realistic pay offer to avert this unnecessary strike action”, Mr Smyth concluded.

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