Staff call off strike action over pay deal

Ardagh Glass, Knottingley.
Ardagh Glass, Knottingley.
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Glass workers have axed plans for strike action to vote on a new pay offer from factory bosses.

Union members at Ardagh Glass in Knottingley were due to stand at the picket lines last week over claims the company had made a “very inadequate” pay offer.

But members of the Unite and GMB unions began voting yesterday on the improved offer of 5.5 per cent over two years.

Tas Sangha, Unite’s deputy regional secretary for Yorkshire, said: “The improved pay offer and the review of ‘committed’ working will now be put to a ballot of our members.

“While our members consider the company’s offer, the series of strikes that were scheduled to run until September 9 are suspended.”

The improved offer came after talks finished in the early hours of August 9 between Unite, the GMB and Ardagh’s management, represented by conciliation service, Acas.

Workers are now considering the offer, which includes a three per cent increase between February this year and January 2014 and a further 2.5 per cent between February 2014 and January 2015.

The package also includes a commitment to a review of shift working, including a commitment to reduce the amount of shift working at all sites.

A spokesman for the Headlands Lane site said: “We welcome the outcome of week-long discussions and believe that our two year offer will be positively received by the workforce.

“This is a sensible decision, which enables us to continue to work in partnership with our employees, as we make significant investments to maintain growth and long term employment.”

The Express reported last month how Ardagh Glass – which has sites in Knottingley, Barnsley, Doncaster and Ayrshire – allegedly made £65m in pre-tax profits last year.