Workers ballot over pay

Kellingley Colliery
Kellingley Colliery

Glass workers are set to vote on whether they want to take industrial action over a pay row at a Knottingley factory.

Employees at Ardagh Glass will be balloted on industrial action, following a “very inadequate” pay offer, according to union bosses.

Unite, the country’s biggest union, has turned down the glass company’s offer of a two per cent pay increase over claims the “highly profitable” firm offered an unsatisfactory sum.

Tas Sangha, Unite deputy regional secretary, said: “Following months of negotiations, the company offered two per cent, way below the increase in the cost of living and this was rejected by 97 per cent of our membership in a consultative ballot.

“We are, therefore, going to a ballot for industrial action on this very inadequate offer, given that this company is highly profitable – profits that our members help generate.”

The Headlands Lane factory employs 271 Unite members .

Bosses says after extended pay negotiations, the company had made what it considered to be a reasonable offer but that an agreement could not be reached.

A spokesman for the company said: “We are disappointed that our final offer of two per cent, which is comparable with or better than the pay awards agreed by other companies in our industry, was rejected, particularly against a background of rising costs and a competitive market place.”

Ardagh Glass – which has sites in Knottingley, Barsnley, Doncaster and Ayrshire – reportedly made £65 million in pre-tax profit last year.

The company has invested more than £60m in UK manufacturing operations.

Unite has asked for a pay increase of more than 3.1 per cent, which represents the current retail price index, but would not confirm the exact amount requested.