Glen Dimplex founder challenged on failure to pay Living Wage
Unite announces strike action in Portadown following talks breakdown
November 11th: Noted philanthropist Martin Naughton, founder of consumer appliance giant Glen Dimplex, has been challenged on the company’s failure to pay the Living Wage. The Dundalk native is chair of the company’s supervisory board, while his son acts as CEO. Trade union Unite, which represents workers in Glen Dimplex’s Portadown facility, has announced a further two days of strike action on November 16th and 19th following the breakdown of mediated talks. Low-paid workers are seeking a 27 pence (31 cent) hourly pay increase to bring them up to the UK Living Wage.
Commenting, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer Susan Fitzgerald said:
“Unite had hoped to resolve this dispute at the Northern Ireland Labour Relations Agency yesterday, but Glen Dimplex bosses apparently entered those talks with no intention of meeting the workers’ legitimate expectation of £8.75 an hour. That is the bare minimum for subsistence as calculated by the independent, UK-based Living Wage Foundation last year.
“Management is refusing to bridge the 27 pence an hour gap despite an offer made by workers to contribute from the small bonus they’re paid for exceeding 100% targets. Their approach has left our members with no alternative but to escalate their strike action in the run-up to Christmas. We have confirmed two twenty-four hour stoppages on Friday November 16th and Monday November 19th.
“Unite is appealing to Glen Dimplex founder and supervisory board chair Martin Naughton – named Philanthropist of the Year in 2016 by the Community Foundation of Ireland – to intervene and ensure that no Glen Dimplex worker is paid below the Living Wage.
“As a noted philanthropist, we would ask Mr Naughton to remember that charity begins at home”, Ms Fitzgerald concluded.