A STRIKE over wages is to go ahead at GE Steam Power’s 125-year-old factory in Rugby tomorrow (Thursday February 17) – bringing it to ‘a complete halt’.
More than 75 members of the union Unite, the majority of the factory’s workforce, will take a total of 12 days of strike action between tomorrow and May 2.
The union accused the company’s management of being ‘arrogant and dismissive’ in the pay dispute, saying it had refused to negotiate over ‘flexible working payments and the expectation that workers will take on new roles without extra pay’.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Our members at GE Steam Power deserve a fair wage and are determined to achieve this. Management would be wise to recognise the strength of feeling at the plant and come back to the table with a much-improved offer.
“Unite is here to defend and improve our members’ jobs, terms and conditions and the Rugby workforce has the union’s full support during these strikes, which will bring the factory to a complete halt.”
The site, which was founded in 1897, manufactures industrial plant steam turbine equipment.
As well as halting production, the strikes will also disrupt the site’s repair and refurbishment service for steam rotating equipment.
Unite regional officer Zoe Mayou added: “The workers’ grievances over flexible working and other payments have been unaddressed for years. Time and again, the company has wasted our members’ time by attending negotiations, which they have then stone-walled.
“Shopfloor workers have had enough of the management’s arrogant and dismissive approach. Strikes will continue until an offer is put forward that meets our members’ expectations.”
A GE spokesperson said: “GE Steam Power Management in Rugby is engaging with the union and their elected shop stewards and remains committed to having a constructive social dialogue with the aim of reaching a resolution quickly.
“GE Steam Power offers competitive compensation and benefits compared to the local market.”