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GMB members at Forterra's Newbury site to ballot for strike action over pay dispute

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Members are furious and morale is plunging as a result of management's failure to deliver on their commitment to equalise pay rates, says GMB Southern GMB, the trade union for members working at Forterra’s Newbury site (a heavy building materials supplier), have announced that they are balloting to take strike action over failure by the Forterra management to address the fact that workers at another site are paid significantly more for doing the same jobs. This is despite committing to moving towards pay parity in the 2017 pay talks.

GMB have held a consultative ballot following the companies 2018 pay offer which fails to address the problem. The ballot result was an overwhelming rejection, with members supporting a full formal ballot for strike action. 

The ballot opens on 22 November with results expected on 6 December.

Forterra os a supplier of heavy building materials like bricks paving and concrete. GMB secured a recognition agreement at Forterra’s Newbury site in August 2017. Since then, GMB have been negotiating to narrow the pay gap with another Forterra site.

GMB members in Newbury are under paid between 3% to over 20% for doing the same jobs carried out on another site, despite the cost of living being substantially higher in Newbury.

Asia Allison, GMB Regional Organiser said:

“During 2017 pay negotiations, Forterra management committed to narrow the pay gap between two Forterra sites. Unfortunately, they have failed to deliver this in the 2018 pay round. GMB members are furious and morale is plunging as a result of management's worthless commitments that they have no intention of fulfilling.   

“The fact that our members voted by almost 100 per cent for strike action in a consultative ballot, shows the depth of anger and frustration GMB members feel at the outrageous attitude adopted by this profitable company. 

“GMB members are now calling directors to address the pay parity and bring they pay in line with the other site. GMB members are demanding a formal deal ‘stamped’ and will not settle anymore with management's empty promises.

“Managements refusal to deal with the pay issue have been left us with no other option, except to ballot GMB members for industrial action.”

ENDS

Contact: Asia Allison 07813 541 930 or GMB Southern Press Office 07970 114 762