Workers at the optical instruments manufacturer Andor Technology site in Springvale, Belfast are poised to ballot for strike action in a bid to improve their pay in order to meet rising living costs.
Unite, the union representing the workforce, says that recent survey of the workforce revealed that nine in ten of workforce (91 per cent) are finding it harder to make ends this year even though the employer enjoyed pre-tax profits of £11.1 million in 2021.
The threat of a ballot comes after bosses ignored workers’ overwhelming rejection of a two percent pay offer for 2021 and instead pressed on with a two-year pay settlement by offering a below-inflation 6 percent increase for 2022.
With the real cost of living (RPI) currently at 8.2 per cent and expected to rise further, Unite warns that Andor’s offer is a pay cut which is unacceptable to the union and its members.
Regional officer Neil Moore said “The Andor workers are struggling to make ends meet as prices rise when this business can well afford to pay fairly.
“A recent survey of our members revealed that 83 percent of workers were having difficulties with their heating and energy bill, had to cut back on spending or were having anxiety and mental health issues over their finances. 91 percent said that they were finding it harder this year to make ends meet than they were last year.
“This is a company turning huge profits. There is no excuse for them to be treating their workers so appallingly.”