Trade union Unite calls for GSK staff walkouts over pay increase disputes
UK-based trade union Unite were pushing for staff walkouts at several GSK manufacturing sites due to disputes regarding pay increases, however to date there have been no updates as to whether GSK have extended another offer.
750 workers who are Unite members voted in favour of strike action after rejecting GSK’s pay offer of 6% and a one-off lump sum of £1,300, which Unite called “significantly below inflation rate pay offer.”
The strikes are taking place between 2nd May and 26th June 2023 at six locations, including five manufacturing sites ‒ Irvine and Montrose in Scotland and Barnard Castle, Worthing and Ulverston in England ‒ and one R&D facility in Ware, England.
GSK and Unite faced the same issue last year, when GSK offered a 2.75% pay increase, which was labelled
“derisory” by workers. Strike action was avoided then, however, after employees accepted a 10.5% pay rise in May 2022.
A spokesperson for GSK told Endpoints News: “We recognise that for many of our people, this past year has seen their cost of living rise rapidly and believe the offer we have made to our UK manufacturing colleagues covered by collective bargaining agreements is fair and reasonable.”
Unite national officer Tony Devlin stated in a release: ‘Strike action will inevitably result in widespread disruption across GSK’s operations, but the company has brought this dispute on itself. It has had every opportunity to make a pay offer that meets member expectations, but it has failed to do so. GSK has effectively stuck two fingers up to its workforce by walking away from the pay negotiations.’