December 10 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, August 31, 2013
Crunch talks to avoid a workers’ strike at a Norwich chemical factory have broken down sparking a fresh move for industrial action.
A strike by 124 staff at Briar Chemicals is back on the cards after managers failed to reach an agreement over pay with union bosses.
And now officials at the GMB union are on course to meet this week to discuss a date for strike action after a formal ballot rejected the latest deal.
The tabled offer would have seen a one-off unconsolidated payment along with a one-off bonus payment, with the firm dropping its demand for new terms, which would have left contracts and terms of employment open to renegotiation.
Ivan Mercer, GMB Organiser said, “I have informed the company that GMB members have voted in an official ballot to reject the company’s latest pay offer. The offer of a one off payment simply was not enough.
“Industrial action short of a strike with begin again immediately. GMB Shop Stewards at the company will meet early next week to decide the dates for full strike action.”
Briar Chemicals had previously withdrawn proposals to increase the working week from 36.25 hours a week to 37.5 hours.
The company was formerly known as Bayer CropScience but changed its name to Briar Chemicals – a name suggested in a staff competition – in September last year after its German parent company sold the business to the Munich-based Aurelius Group.
Briar Chemicals said the change in ownership had contributed to its stance, but that salaries were already “generous”.
A spokesman said: “In the last 12 months, the company has made the transition from being part of a multinational agro-chemical manufacturing business to an independent local contracting company and there have been changes as a result.”
It said its aim was to remain competitive with other UK companies to attract new business and protect the long-term future of jobs on the Norwich site.
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