WORKERS at a Dumfries factory are to strike next month after negotiations over new shift patterns and pay were refused.
GMB Scotland members at Gates Power Transmission overwhelmingly backed industrial action over proposals to reduce the length of shifts and will strike for two days on May 8 and May 10.
Almost 77 per cent of members supported a strike after management refused to discuss the transition to the new system to ensure wages reduced gradually as a 12-hour shift pattern was phased out for daily shifts.
This would mean workers losing as much as half their pay with little more than two weeks’ notice.
Staff, who can be “laid off” for five days every three months, are also angry they will now only be paid statutory pay of £31 a day.
GMB Scotland organiser Ude Joe Adigwe blamed the failure of managements to discuss the changes.
He said: “The concerns of workers are clear and have been clearly stated to management.
“However, there has been a refusal to engage in any meaningful way.
“They claim to be open to discussions but have refused to talk about any of the workers’ legitimate concerns.
“That reveals a lack of respect for the workers here and an absolute refusal to ease their concerns about the changes being introduced. It is unacceptable that in the 21st century a worker can be laid-off whenever the company decides with practically no financial safety net or have their income slashed at the drop of a hat.
“We do not want to strike and would rather be around the table finding a solution but, given the company’s refusal to engage and find agreement on these issues, it is no surprise the vote to support industrial action was so overwhelming.”
Gates Power Transmission was contacted for comment.