Union members at Stowmarket Dulux and Cuprinol factory in 'bitter' pay dispute
Workers at a Stowmarket plant involved in a ‘bitter’ pay dispute are being balloted on strike action by their union.
Bosses at Dulux and Cuprinol producer AkzoNobel, in Needham Road, have threatened an ultimatum according to Unite, which represents the majority of staff.
The union says its members have already rejected a 2.25 per cent pay offer for the year starting April 1, but that since the ballot the management had threatened to withdraw the deal and withhold the back-dated uplift if they did not agree to the offer by September 6.
But AkzoNobel said this week it ‘regretted’ Unite’s decision to reject the pay offer and ballot for industrial action, while it hoped colleagues and union representatives would reconsider and accept it.
Neal Evans, Unite regional officer, said: “The management seems hell-bent on ratcheting up bad feeling in this dispute by sending this intemperate letter to our members, who don’t take well to threats.
“We are in the middle of a legitimate ballot for strike action over a paltry pay offer the workers have already overwhelmingly rejected in a consultative ballot and it is unhelpful in the extreme to threaten to withdraw the uplift in the pay offer.”
A spokesperson for AkzoNobel said: “We firmly believe we made a strong and reasonable offer.
“We remain committed to maintaining the strong relationship we have with our colleagues at Stowmarket and are proud to have several generations of families working at the site and an extremely low staff turnover. ”
The strike ballot closes on Tuesday.
More by this authorCamille Berriman