Workers at Lurgan poly-pipe producer balloted for industrial action
WORKERS at Lurgan-based Radius Plastics are to be balloted on strike action following what the Unite union claims is management's refusal to address concerns over pay.
And as a formal industrial ballot opened, the union's regional officer Sean Smyth warned of the potential for "debilitating industrial action" at the plant in October if bosses don't reconsider their position.
He said: “In a recent consultative ballot, our members at Radius voted with a majority of more than 90 per cent to reject terms offered by management in pay talks.
"While workers were satisfied to accept a five per cent increase for a two-year deal, that acceptance was contingent on the offer being backdated to the beginning of April. Unfortunately, bosses have rejected this request and stuck rigidly to their own plans to delay the pay increase until the beginning of September.
“The net result is that our members are losing the value of a five percent pay increase for a five-month period. Under the RPI measure, which best approximates the true cost of living increase experienced by working-class people, inflation last year reached four per cent.
"The five-month delay proposed by management will mean that the benefit to our members of a five per cent increase over two years will be all but eaten up over that period."
Mr Smyth claimed the company's approach "has been characterised by a high-handed obstinacy" and left Unite members with no alternative but to proceed to ballot formally for industrial action over the next two weeks.