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Kingspan workers in walk-out after rejecting increased pay offer

Workers have staged a walk-out at Kingspan in Portadown in a dispute over pay
Gary McDonald Business Editor

WORKERS at Kingspan Water & Energy in Portadown have staged a walk-out after rejecting management's latest pay offer.

And unions insist the strike is severely impacting production at the factory, which employs 200 staff making fuel and water tanks.

The industrial action follows a 99 per cent vote for strike action and 65 per cent rejection of an eve of strike offer from management - believed to be 8.5 per cent, but which still fell well short of Unite union members’ demands for a cost of living pay increase.

The Portadown workers are also angry that they have been excluded from a £1,000 cost of living payment provided to all other Kingspan Water & Energy employees.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said:  “The Kingspan workers can count on the full support of their union, Unite, as they strike to win the pay increase and bonus they deserve. 

“It is our members’ hard work which delivers Kingspan’s huge profits so it is only fair they get their slice of the pie. Kingspan can well afford to provide their employees with a cost of living pay increase and they should do exactly that.”

Last year Kingspan increased revenues by 28 per cent to £7.3 billion and increases its trading profit by 10 per cent to £733 million, rewarding its shareholders with a dividend of £2.89 on every share – a jump of over 8 per cent on 2021.

Unite regional officer for the workforce Neil Moore has urged management to make a cost of living pay increase offer to end the strike.

He said: “The Kingspan workers are determined to win a cost of living pay increase. There’s a real sense of resolution on this picket line and production at this factory has been massively impacted.

“After two years of real terms pay cuts, these workers are not taking it any more. Management needs to respect these workers and return to the table with a genuine cost of living increase. For our part, Unite stands ready to return to negotiations but they need to be based on a significant improved offer from management.”

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