WORKERS at a Thurrock factory, who will be taking strike action this week, are to step up their industrial action with a 48 hour strike next week.
The dispute is between members of the Unite union who work at the Linford site of concrete maker Tarmac Building Products Ltd, with workers claiming management are out to create a two tier workforce at the site.
Unite has announced a 48 hour strike starting on Wednesday, 28 March from at 6am and ending on Friday, 30 March, at the site which produces concrete breeze blocks. These are in addition to this week’s two 24 hour stoppages on Tuesday, 20 and Thursday, 22 March, which had already been announced.
Unite is escalating the dispute which has already seen seven days of strike action this year, after saying the company would not agree to a level playing field.
Unite regional officer Guy Langston said: “Unite is escalating the dispute as a direct result of Tarmac’s imposed contracts.
“We told the company that unless we can negotiate on a level playing field our members would retaliate. We have an imposed contract of employment for new starters that is simply unacceptable to our members. We have advised Tarmac to tear up this contract and get around the table for meaningful talks to resolve what is simply a bypassing of the agreed process.
“Unite members believe that if these changes are unchallenged there will be a domino effect and the pay and conditions of all staff members will come under attack.
“The strikes are clearly having an effect on Tarmac’s production capabilities and it must surely be in management’s interests to enter into proper negotiations to resolve this dispute.”