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Cumbria Pay Dispute

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

GMB Ballot For Industrial Action At Cumbria Chemical Plant Over Pay Dispute

Offering a below inflation pay rise is asking our members to take a pay cut in times of austerity which is nothing less than corporate greed says GMB.

GMB is undertaking a ballot of its members in Eastman Chemical in Siddick, Workington in  a pay dispute. The result is expected on May 3rd 2013.

Negotiations have been underway with the Company since January 2013 in an attempt to secure a pay offer that covered inflation. After a series of meetings the company tabled an offer of 2.8%. This  was put to GMB members in a secret ballot and was rejected by 84% to 16%.

GMB sought further discussions which then took place.  At the end of two meetings the company rejected outright the GMB's proposals to try to negotiate a settlement.

Subsequent to the breakdown in discussions the GMB are conducting a ballot for industrial action amongst its members at the Company.

Eastman Chemical at the Workington site is a manufacturer of Acetate Tow which is used to make cigarette filters. Eastman employs approximately 160 at the Workington site where GMB has 100% membership in the area under dispute.

Kevin Young , GMB Regional Organiser, said "Only a few months ago Jim Rodgers, Eastman CEO stated that the company had posted record profits, so offering our members a below inflation pay rise is asking our members to take a pay cut in times of austerity which is nothing less than corporate greed.

What Mr. Rodgers and the Senior Management Team at Workington need to understand is that it is the hard work and dedication of the workforce that turn out the profit for the company on a daily basis and we would expect them to have a small share in the company's prosperity, albeit just to cover inflation.

They are not asking for the earth. Unless there is a new offer a dispute looms at this chemical company in West Cumbria."

Ends

Contact: Kevin Young 07870 176 747 or 01228 521 657 GMB Press Office 07921 289 880

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