Following months of extensive efforts, ignored counter proposals and procedural challenges, Unite members at Sharpak in Yate were finally pushed into a ballot on Strike Action.
This has resulted in an overwhelming vote in favour and Unite members will be taking strike action on Tuesday 2nd December from 0600 to 0600 on Wednesday 3rd December and on Thursday 4th December from 0600 to 0600 on Friday 5th December.
Pickets will be operational from 0600 to midnight 2nd December and 0400 – 0600 3rd December and the same on Thursday 4th, Friday 5th December.
The employer is making a variation to terms and conditions with an increase of 3 hours to the working week (from 37 to 40 hours). The 37 hour week was agreed around 25 years ago as part of a pay cut to support the business. During consultation, agreement was not reached with Unite and the employer has proceeded to intimidate the workers into accepting these changes and expecting workers with caring responsibilities and other non-work commitments to just forget them at the drop of a hat. They have conducted individual meetings giving notice of termination and an offer of re-engagement on new terms.
Unite is eager to resolve the dispute and are not adverse to reconvening consultations to discuss other ways in which the stated business needs could be met without the increase of hours. However, this would need to be on an unconditional basis and would need the employer to commit to withdrawing the notice of change which they so far have refused to do.
If anyone has the opportunity to support the Unite members who are taking on a belligerent and unreasonable employer please visit and support the Unite picket lines on either Tuesday 2nd or Thursday 4th December. These Unite members will appreciate your backing and encouragement.
The address is Sharpak, Highway, Yate, Bristol, BS37 7AA