Strikers’ picket line concerns

Members of the union on strike from Redland Wigan Plant, Monier, based off Cale Lane
Members of the union on strike from Redland Wigan Plant, Monier, based off Cale Lane

Striking workers at a Wigan factory have cancelled a meeting with company bosses over fears replacement staff could be snuck past their picket line while they are at the negotiation table.

GMB members from the Monier Redland Ltd roof tile plant in New Springs were due to meet with the company’s HR director today (Friday).

But they claim bosses have asked employees from another factory to come and work in the roofing plant on Cale Lane and fear leaving their picket line would given them the opportunity to get replacement workers into the factory.

Around 30 employees have been on strike since Sunday after the health and safety officer at the factory was dismissed.

They have also accused some members of management of bullying and said the company is not listening to their concerns.

George Patterson, of the GMB union, said: “The workers were meant to meet with the HR director but after they found out that they had asked people from another factory to come and fill in they called it off.

“They fear the company will use them being away from the picket line to get some more workers into the plant. Instead I will be holding a meeting with the workers to decide what action to take next. The company has said it was an oversight and sent the one person who came back.”

The strike is due to end on Sunday. The meeting with HR was to discuss bullying accusations and how employees can raise concerns. A spokesman for Monier refused to comment on the union’s allegations about bringing in outside staff but has previously insisted they wanted to

quickly resolve the dispute.

Earlier this week, he told the Wigan Evening Post: “Currently the warehouse and logistics operation are running as normal and customer deliveries and collections are unaffected. In addition the factory is running a limited single shift.”