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Pay dispute prompts strike

WestexMillgateThe Unite union has called strike action at Westex Carpets.

The union said the strike had been called after a 2.2% pay increase was withdrawn after it had been rejected by members. The comapny said only a minority of staff were involved and it had plans in place to maintain service.

‘After its initial penny-pinching pay offer was rejected, Westex Carpets dug themselves into a hole by pettily rescinding it and implementing an insulting pay freeze that was justified with a paper-thin excuse about cash flow. This strike will severely impact Westex’s production capabilities and was entirely avoidable,’ says Kelvin Mawer, Unite regional officer.

‘Our members will not back down or be fobbed off with empty claims about financial constraints that are contradicted by Westex’s pre-tax profits of £5m a year.’

He said the Victoria subsidiary should end the pay freeze and resume negotiations.

‘We are disappointed that Unite have decided to take strike action at Westex Carpets. The strike only affects a minority of our employees and the vast majority of our employees will continue to operate as normal. We will also utilise contingency plans to ensure that we continue to provide our normal excellent service to our customers,’ says John Shirt, Westex md.
‘We have agreed and implemented pay increases every year for over 20 years, with those increases averaging around 3% per annum. The result is that our employees are around the highest paid in our industry and we are proud that we have achieved that in an extremely challenging market. We genuinely hope that this situation will be resolved in the near future.’