14 Mar 2017
GMB has postponed their Swindon protest after makers of iconic bond villain chair, G-Plan, agree to get back around the table for further talks.
We are pleased that due to the strength of feeling from GMB members in the factory, and their determination to resist management imposing on them a shift pattern that simply wouldn’t work, Sofa brands International, have stepped in to pause the introduction of the new shift patterns says GMB Southern
GMB Southern, the union for furniture workers at the G Plan factory in Melksham welcomes the decision by G Plan to postpone the introduction of proposed shift changes which the union believes to be unworkable.
GMB members had intended to protest outside the DFS furniture store in Swindon, at 1:00 pm on Wednesday 15th March. The planned protest had followed an overwhelming rejection of proposed new shift patterns by 89% of the workforce. GMB has now postponed the planned protest as the employer has agreed to further talks to find a resolution to the dispute.
Currently work at the Melksham factory is organized on a two shift basis, a day shift and a night shift. The company had proposed making all workers rotate between the two shifts, meaning the current night shift workers would lose money, and the current day shift would be forced onto a shift pattern that for many of them does not fit in with their family and childcare responsibilities.
The proposed change is designed to address problems recruiting to the night shift, and staff retention, however, GMB argues that the new shift patterns would simply make the problem worse.
Carole Vallelly, GMB regional officer, said:
“We are pleased that due to the strength of feeling from GMB members in the factory, and their determination to resist management imposing on them a shift pattern that simply wouldn’t work, G Plan’s parent company, Sofa brands International, have stepped in to pause the introduction of the new shift patterns, and to extend the consultation period.
“GMB is pleased that we will be getting round the table with Sofa Brands International. GMB has made a counter proposal that the company can solve its problems recruiting on the night shift by having a recruitment freeze on the day shift. We are convinced that with good will on both sides an amicable resolution can be reached that both satisfies the company’s business objectives, but also meets the requirements of our members for a sensible shift pattern.
“GMB will be strongly making the point to the employer that many of our members, who have loyally worked for G Plan for several years, feel they would be forced out of their jobs, because they simply would not be able to work the proposed new rotational shift patterns.”
Contact: Carole Vallelly on 01793 818005 or Michelle Gordon on 07866 369259
Notes to editors
1) GMB Press release