Workers at Derry City & Strabane District Council to launch four-week strike action after they reject latest, inadequate pay offer

Gareth Scott, Unite Regional Officer

Council management has been notified of a four-week strike commencing 18th July and ending 14th August

Latest pay offer provided no additional consolidated pay increase, leaving workers unprotected from surging inflation

Unite has notified bosses at Derry City & Strabane District Council of a further four weeks of strike action. This industrial action follows two previous strikes by workers at local councils, the Education Authority and the Housing Executive. Workers are demanding a pay increase which will protect them from the current cost of living crisis. 

The dispute is in respect of pay following an inadequate national pay deal which offers workers a bare 1.75 percent increase, an offer which was rejected by Unite members as inflation is currently surging at 11.7 percent.

The latest pay offer from management at Derry City & Strabane District Council came after a second strike action by workers at the local authority. Workers suspended their action to allow space for further negotiations, however management merely offered a non-consolidated, one-off payment. While this would help meet immediate challenges, it would have left workers with no protection for inflation into the future 

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Workers to strike for a cost of living pay increase at Hampton Conservatories Ltd in Portrush.

Three percent increase is a disgraceful 8.7 percent wage cut; initial eight-day strike action to start 16th July

Unite has confirmed that its membership at the small Portrush-based manufacturer and installer of conservatories will commence an initial eight-day strike action starting 16th July.

General Secretary of Unite, Sharon Graham, gave her union’s full support to the striking workers:

“These workers are taking strike action to win a proper cost of living pay increase. They will have the full support of their union in that fight. The current offer is a disgrace.

“Employers across the board need to provide their workers with genuine cost of living pay increases. This goes for small businesses as much as large ones. Hampton Conservatories Ltd can well afford to share their success with their workers. They must now do so.”

Gareth Scott, who is Unite regional officer for the workforce, highlighted the inadequacy of management’s latest pay offer.

“Bosses at Hampton Conservatories Ltd offered the workers a mere three percent. Retail price inflation which is the measure that most accurately estimates what working class actually are experiencing is currently running at 11.7 percent. A three percent increase amounts to a 8.7 percent real-terms pay cut which is completely unacceptable to my members.

“Management know what is needed to avoid the disruption that will result from an unnecessary strike. They must return to pay talks with a much improved offer that meets the expectations and needs of their workforce.”

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Workers end strike action at Interface, Craigavon after winning inflation-busting pay increase

After one week of strike action, union members vote overwhelmingly to accept ​15.25% percent pay increase

Unite members working at flooring manufacturer Interface Europe, based in Craigavon, have voted overwhelmingly to end their strike action after receiving a much improved pay offer from management. The offer comes at the end of a first week of strike action which shutdown production at the site.

The pay offer includes a 15.25% percent fully-consolidated increase – which even with surging inflation standing at 11.7 percent according to the retail price inflation index (the measure of inflation closest to that experienced by workers) – translates into a real-terms improvement of more than three and a half percent.

Unite General Secretary congratulated her members and all involved in the successful strike action:

“This is a big win for our members working in Interface. This inflation-busting pay increase was won through militant and effective strike action which shut down production and forced bosses to share their profits with the Craigavon workforce.

“This increase was even more necessary as workers report their pay having fallen behind others in the locality. This pay increase sets the bar for workers across the board.”

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Niall Breslin to launch Unite Community solidarity music project for Afghan refugee children in Dungarvan on Saturday

When: Saturday 2 July at 12.15 pm

Where: Dungarvan United Soccer Club, 1 Kilrush Park, Dungarvan

What: Niall Breslin will launch a music education project for refugee children being organised by Unite Community with the support of Surprise, Surprise

Unite Community, the community outreach arm of trade union Unite, has teamed up with local Dungarvan charity Surprise, Surprise to organise music lessons for Aghan refugee children living in the town.  Unite’s Education branch has donated ten ukuleles for the project, which will be launched on Saturday by musician and former GAA and rugby player Niall Breslin.

Rhona McCord coordinates Unite Community activities in the Republic and explained the background to the project:

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‘Tips’ legislation: Unite welcomes ring-fencing of service charges for workers

Collective bargaining must now be moved up political agenda

Trade union Unite, which has campaigned to stop the practice of ‘tip theft’ in the hospitality sector, today (Wednesday) welcomed the Government’s decision to bring forward an amendment to the Payment of Wages (Tips and Gratuities) bill banning service charges in restaurants unless they go directly to staff.

Commenting, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer Tom Fitzgerald said:

“Unite welcomes the Government’s decision to bring forward this amendment.  This is the result of determined work by activists and workers in the sector, and by many others, not just in the trade union movement but also in political parties, academia and the media, who exposed the blatant injustice of tip theft and campaigned to put an end to it.

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