Maintenance workers across three Dale Farm Ltd sites vote 75% in favour of strike action and 80% for industrial action short of strike
Unite representatives invite Dale Farm bosses to last ditch negotiations, including through mediation of Labour Relations Agency
August 19th: Liam Gallagher, speaking for the union’s membership at Dale Farm, called on management to engage in meaningful negotiations following a strong vote for industrial action by members.
“Unite members at three Dale Farm Ltd factories: Cookstown, Ballymena and Cullybacky have voted overwhelmingly to endorse industrial action in a ballot conducted after the collapse of pay negotiations.
“Following on from this result, on Thursday last, Union representatives wrote to Dale Farm Ltd management outlining their determination to secure a decent pay increase for the maintenance staff at all three sites. We offered last minute negotiations either directly, or through the offices of the Labour Relations Agency. They must reconsider their refusal to seek mediated negotiation; previously Dale Farm bosses pulled out of LRA talks two days before they were due to have started.
“While Unite is genuine about the need to avoid strike action, which remains a last resort for the union, management should be under no illusions that if we are left with no alternative Unite will be robust in pursuit of our members’ demands.
“Dale Farm bosses have been compelled under law to offer the bare minimum increase to production workers’ wages but their refusal to extend this same increment to maintenance workers threatens to leave these skilled workers watching their pay fall ever closer to the legal minimum.
“Dale Farm Ltd is not a company suffering from severe financial pressures, it is an expanding business, part of the highly successful Dale Farm Group. The latest accounts show that the group enjoyed a 12.4% increase in sales and a 16.2% profit on operating activities before tax. In recent months they have won a lucrative contract to supply Cheddar to the Lidl chain in the UK, Europe and US. There can be no excuse for this successful company refusing to engage in mediated pay negotiations with Unite”, Mr Gallagher said.