December 7 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
A strike at a Norwich chemicals factory has been called off after union officials and bosses reached a last-minute agreement.
Some 124 members of the GMB Union at Briar Chemicals had been due to walk out between 3pm and 9pm today over a pay dispute.
However, bosses announced this afternoon that a morning of negotiations had been fruitful and an agreement reached to avoid strike action.
Ashley Taylor, operations manager at Briar Chemicals, said: “We are pleased that we have been able to work with the GMB to reach an agreement to avert industrial action.
“The GMB will be balloting their members on our offer in the coming week. We believe this will allow us to reach a settlement.”
The union had threatened the strike in a dispute over pay rises, which members had wanted built into their contracts. The firm’s previous offers had included one-off payments and bonus payments, and a new agreement meaning staff contracts would be open to renegotiation next April.
The union said the ‘strings’ attached to that offer made it “undesirable and unfeasible”, and they have been removed in the latest offer, which will be put to members by ballot.
GMB organiser Ivan Mercer said: “Last-minute talks with the company led to a new pay offer.
“I am putting that offer to the members across the site at mass meetings tomorrow, Friday and next Tuesday. We will know the result of the ballot on Wednesday, August 28.
“With the strings gone I believe that the members will be more receptive to the offer but it is their decision whether to accept it or not.”
Two hundred jobs are set to be created after one of west Norfolk’s largest businesses was granted permission to expand its King’s Lynn facilities.