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Christmas Presents Won't Make It Under The Tree If Scrooge Bosses Don't Cough Up, Warns GMB And Unite

Friday, November 18, 2016

Unions warn of Yuletide gift chaos if paltry pay offer leads to strike.

Thousands Christmas trees across the country may not have presents under them on December 25 if miserly bosses don't get their act together, warn GMB and Unite.

The two unions say members in corrugated packaging are ready to strike over pay - and told customers of major retailers to expect their festive purchases to be thrown into chaos.

GMB and Unite members in the sector voted overwhelming to reject a pay offer from the employers (DS Smith, Saica Pack, and Smurfit Kappa) and through a ballot voted overwhelming to support industrial action.

The action called by the GMB and Unite will consist of an overtime ban commencing Saturday 26th November and a day of strike action on Monday 28th November.

Stuart Fegan, GMB National Officer said:

“Our members are clearly fed up of seeing their employers make increasing profits in this sector whilst their wages fall behind in real terms.

"We urge the employers to get back around the negotiating table and make an offer to our members in respect of their pay claim which recognise the profits these companies are making and the contribution of our members towards those profits.

"We don't want to cause problems for peoples' Christmas shopping - but if we have to, we will."

Ian Tonks, Unite National Officer, said:

“At no time during our meetings with the companies did they raise the affordability, clearly these are profitable companies and our members recognise their contribution towards that profitability and their efforts need rewarding.”


Notes to editors

For more information contact the GMB press office on 07958 156846 or at

Affected sites:

DS Smith Devizes (Wiltshire)

DS Smith Clay Cross (Chesterfield)

DS Smith Livingston (Scotland)

Saica Newport (Wales)

Saica Peterlee (Northumberland)

Smurfit Kappa (West Auckland)

Approximately 3000 employees covered

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