E&I management must meet with workers’ trade union Unite to discuss concerns over low pay and crippling shift patterns

Liam Gallagher, Regional Officer, Unite.

Business supplying Facebook, Google and Amazon and showing a £62 million profit last year can surely show some Christmas spirit and address workforce collective grievance issues

Unite the union, which represents workers at E&I Engineering sites in Burnfoot and Campsie in Derry/L’Derry called on management to meet. take seriously the workforce’s collective grievance and address employee concerns. Commenting, Unite Regional Officer for the workforce Liam Gallagher said:

“The workers at E&I Engineering sites in Burnfoot and Campsie have made a huge contribution to the rapid expansion of this electronics company, which now includes the likes of Google, Facebook and Amazon among its clients. The business is extremely successful and has largely escaped the wider economic downturn.

“The latest declared profits for the company stood at £62 million – a huge uplift of more than 40 percent on the year previous. Sadly, management has chosen not to share that success with their workforce despite the huge loyalty they have shown in ensuring production continued apace throughout the pandemic.

“Unite has lodged a collective grievance on behalf of our swelling membership at both sites. It centres on concerns over low pay, crippling shift patterns, and the resulting huge pressures on workers’ family life and mental health. Unfortunately management are refusing to engage with us on these and other issues. We ask what have they to fear from a union representing the concerns of their own employees?

“During the first lockdown, our members showed flexibility in accommodating the temporary changes requested by the company. Now that children have returned to school and partners to their workplaces, the company is failing to show the same flexibility to its workforce.

“What was supposed to be a temporary change now means, for a lot of our members, having little to no contact with their family; and all for a paltry pay cheque at the end of the week. The shift changes that were brought in due to Covid-19 are having a real detrimental effect to the family life of those working in the Burnfoot site, not to mention their mental health. This is totally unacceptable and completely fails to reflect the business’ success.

“Workers are reporting a pervasive culture of bullying towards workers on the shop floor and a grading system on pay progression that appears to be awarded on a ‘face-fitting’ basis. This just makes for a bleaker situation for our members.

“Management must take seriously the concerns of their own workforce, upon which their success is built. They must engage our union as we are determined to ensure the well-being of our members. With only two weeks remaining before the Christmas break and festivities, we need to see an urgent resolution to all the workforce concerns”, Mr Gallagher concluded.

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