Factory workers’ week-long strike

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

Workers at a Wigan factory have gone out on strike in a dispute over a colleague who was sacked.

Employees at Redland Monier, a manufacturing plant on Cale Lane, New Springs, are staging a week-long walkout after their health and safety representative was dismissed.

The striking employees believe he was “unfairly dismissed” as a result of his efforts to try and improve health and safety at the factory.

Around 30 GMB members, who mainly work in manufacturing, have taken to the picket line at the gates to the factory and will remain there for the rest of the week unless a solution is found.

GMB representative and organiser of the strike George Patterson said: “We want the shop steward reinstated and we want a commitment from HR that they will open up a dialogue with us for workers to raise concerns,

“A lot of the management have been accused of bullying. We want to make sure that everyone fully understands what is going on at the Wigan site.

“The shop steward is also our health and safety rep and they obviously didn’t want him challenging the way they should be doing things.”

“He was given a compromise letter last year but said he didn’t want to leave. They placed him on paid leave for a few weeks but then he came back.

“He had a small accident he had on site. He was driving a forklift truck and collided with a stationary vehicle and they used that as an excuse to dismiss him.

“The majority of the employees feel he has been unfairly dismissed and we are striking in support of the shop steward.

“There is also a grievance because the company has been accused of bullying and it is not let employees raise their concerns through the proper channels.”

A spokesman for Monier Redland Ltd said: “Monier Redland Ltd has been informed of industrial action by some employees at the company’s Wigan manufacturing facility.

“The GMB union has informed the business that its members at the plant have voted to take discontinuous strike action commencing Sunday July 3 until Sunday 10.

“While the company recognises the decision, it is continuing to work with the GMB and its members to resolve the dispute as quickly as possible.

“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 and will continue to do so for the duration of the action, using non-striking workers.”