WORKERS at a Huddersfield engineering firm have carried out a planned 24-hour strike – and may be having more in the coming weeks.
Holding Unite placards and donning yellow union jackets, David Brown Gear Systems employees took to the picket line across the two site entrances in Lockwood from 6am yesterday.
The dispute over wages, a review of pay grades and changes to the pension scheme affects more than 450 shopfloor workers, with almost half taking strike action represented by Unite union.
The firm has offered a 2.5% pay rise but workers voted for industrial action and are looking to increase their pay by 4% in line with inflation.
And the Unite union has now said they will give management notice for further days of strikes.
Speaking at the picket line, Unite union convenor Peter Phillips said: “We have gone ahead as planned with our 24-hour industrial action. This dispute is about pay. For a number of years the workforce pay has dropped below the cost of living.
“We have been in talks since January ahead of the annual pay rise being paid the following month.
“We did not want to take the path but we were left with no choice. The vote for strike action was a good result to show how strong members feel about the proposals.
“David Brown is a world-renowned company in gear manufacturing and we think we have contributed to its survival.
“We are happy to talk to management at any time in order to come to an amicable solution.”
He said the union is yet to determine when further strikes will take place, adding: “If we can come to a speedy solution this will have a massive long term effect on staff and the company. The longer this goes on the more detrimental it will be for the firm.”
The dispute comes as the company further establishes itself in emerging markets.
David Brown general manager Wayne Ball told the Examiner earlier this week that the firm was looking to “clearly defined strategy” to ensure that the facility plays a key part in growth.
The firm declined to comment on yesterday’s strike action.