Trade union members take strike action throughout the North West & Irish Region

Trade union membership increases, as frustrated workers are forced to fight for fair pay and conditions

18 August 2022

GMB Trade union members throughout the North West & Irish region, ballotting in robust pay negotiations.

The GMB union are locked in talks with numerous employers from Merseyside to Belfast and Manchester to Armagh. Negotiations over pay and conditions are bringing out the best in our union members and officers as industrial action and the threat of further disruption kicks in.

ARRIVA Union Members Vote on Improved Offer.

A long running strike with ARRIVA the bus company, which has stopped much of the public transport in places like Merseyside and Cheshire, has forced the company to make an improved offer which goes a long way towards meeting the union claim. Despite media speculation fuelled by a UNITE press release, the union reps from GMB and UNITE at Liverpool’s Green Lane and other depots are voting whether to suspend or end the strike after a new offer was tabled. An improved pay offer after a massive vote of rejection looks as though a union victory is on the cards.

GMB Regional Organiser George Paterson spoke from the continuing picket line on Wednesday: “The company could have made this offer weeks ago. They clearly have the money despite denying this fact and have caused our members to lose pay during the strike and also impacted on the poor public whose services have been disrupted because of this bad management decision to delay agreeing a deal.”

George added: “Our drivers and staff are voting today and they alone will decide whether the strike is over, but it does look as though they have met our claim.” 

The deal could mean £15 per hour for staff members who have been solidly on strike for around five weeks.

Pladis/Jacobs Vote Overwhelmingly for Strike Action as Pay Talks Collapse

Over 82% of GMB members at Jacobs bakery in Aintree have voted by 91.1% to take industrial action in rejecting what is described by union members as a derisory pay offer. And a massive 485 members put their cross on the ballot paper specifically for strike action with only 66 voting against.

Pay and conditions have been a bone of contention for some years at the plant on Long Lane in Liverpool with constant campaigning for better working conditions and a healthier environment on issues such as dust, musculoskeletal disorders, heat stress and accidents. Lisa Ryan the GMB Regional Officer said: “If the company were in any doubt as to the strength of feeling of staff then this result shows how wrong they are and have taken this hard working workforce for granted for far too long.”

Not Easy for the Council as ABC GMB Members Hit the Cobbles

Council staff in the ABC (Armagh, Bambridge and Craigavon) Council in Northern Ireland are stepping out into another bout of industrial action next week. Other sections of the workforce are joining their colleagues already on strike this week to build up pressure on the council. While the union is balloting and consulting in other areas including Mid-Ulster and Antrim and Newton Abbey. Claims around the Part three and harmonisation agreements are being submitted to other councils and disputes could be hitting soon at CIVICA, as well as with some security firms before the NJC step up talks for better pay and conditions.

Denise Walker the Senior Organiser for the GMB in Northern Ireland says they are fighting on so many fronts but members are not accepting unacceptable offers from employers as inflation bites hard. “People want better pay and conditions and on top of all the places you mention we are looking at carrying out an electronic ballot within our membership in schools. So it is a pretty hectic but exciting time for the GMB just now.”

Albie McGuigan stopped counting consultative ballot papers to tell us the union were balloting Cammel Lairds on pay while other issues were bubbling under with talks getting under way at INEOS and URENCO. “Its just heating up but pay and pension talks are on the agenda in some of these places so it is ballotitis for all involved.” Said Albie.

GMB trade union action in August 2022 - Join the GMB union