GSK staff walkout over pay

Workers at GSK’s Montrose factory have joined union colleagues across the country by staging a walk-out in a dispute with the company over pay.

By
Mark Dowie
Thursday, 4th May 2023, 12:00pm
GSK staff walkout over pay

Hundreds of staff employed by a pharmaceutical giant will stage a series of walkouts throughout May after accusing the corporation of continuing to benefit at the expense of its workers.

Around 750 workers at GSK will take action after rejecting the company’s offer of a 6% pay rise with a £1300 lump sum.

GSK said the overall package to its employees represents the equivalent of a 9% pay rise but Unite, which represents the workers taking industrial action, said it would force staff to accept a real-terms pay cut as the RPI rate of inflation stands at 13.5%.

The strikes will take place at different times throughout the month at six sites, including Barnard Castle, Irvine, Ware, Worthing and Ulverston with action being taken initially by more than 160 workers at Montrose. Those impacted include engineers, process technicians, warehouse workers and fire officers.

Unite said the current offer represents a substantial real terms pay cut with the current inflation rate (RPI) standing at 13.5 per cent.

Sharon Graham, general secretary, said: “This is a classic example of a corporation seeking to further boost its eye-watering profits at the expense of its workers.

“Let’s remember that this is a multibillion corporation rolling in cash. It made an operating profit of £2.1bn for the first quarter of 2023. GSK could end this dispute right now by offering a decent pay deal. The owners should know we are not walking away."

A GSK spokesperson said: “We recognise that for many of our people, this past year has seen their cost of living rise rapidly and believe the offer we have made to our UK manufacturing colleagues covered by collective bargaining agreements is fair and reasonable.

“We’re disappointed that Unite has decided to take industrial action, despite receiving a final offer which includes a 6% increase on base pay, shift pay and allowances, plus a discretionary one-time payment of £1300 – an overall package equivalent to a 9.7% increase.”

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