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Strike action looms at packaging factory

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By Euan Maxwell
Dumfries and West
Strike action looms at packaging factory

A WARNING of strike action at a Dumfries-based packaging plant factory has been revealed due to a dispute over pay.

Around 100 Unite members at DuPont Teijin Films (DTF) launched an overtime ban earlier this month.

And the union stated this week that it would have “no option” but to escalate industrial action at the factory in response to the company imposing a three per cent wage offer in April.

In June, Unite’s membership voted in support of taking strike action, and since July the workforce has operated an overtime ban in order to fight for a better pay offer with the broader rate of inflation currently standing at 10.7 per cent.

The strike ballot followed Unite accusing the company of by-passing the agreed collective bargaining procedures, and the workforce’s trade union representatives, to impose the wage offer.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham, said: “The imposition of a wage offer on the Dupont workforce in Dumfries is totally unacceptable.

“Just over three per cent does next to nothing to help our members in this cost-of-living crisis.

“DuPont also shamefully by-passed the agreed bargaining processes and Unite representatives to impose this offer.

“If our members take the decision to escalate their industrial action, then they will have their union’s full support in the fight for better jobs, pay and conditions.”

DTF is a major supplier of food packaging to all major UK supermarkets, as well as institutional catering for hospitals, schools and home-meals for the elderly.

The company makes polymer film for use in industrial packaging, as well as healthcare, alternative energy, durable media, electronics, electrical insulation and capacitors.

Unite industrial officer, Andy Macfarlane, added: “Around 100 Unite members have operated a very effective overtime ban since June when our members gave us a mandate for industrial action.

“The mandate was in direct response to DuPont’s refusal to meaningfully engage with Unite, and then to completely ignore us over this year’s pay talks.

“We have no option but to consider all-out strike action at the Dumfries plant.

“It seems this is the only way to make DuPont management sit up and take notice.”

DuPont were contacted for comment.