• Unions warn of festive gift chaos if paltry pay offer leads to strike

        • Thousands Christmas trees across the country may not have presents under them on 25th December if stingy bosses don't get their act together, warn GMB and Unite.

          The two unions say members in corrugated packaging are ready to strike over pay, and told customers of major retailers to expect their festive purchases to be thrown into chaos.

          Stuart Fegan, GMB National Officer said, “our members are clearly fed up of seeing their employers make increasing profits in this sector whilst their wages fall behind in real terms. We urge the employers to get back around the negotiating table and make an offer to our members in respect of their pay claim which recognise the profits these companies are making and the contribution of our members towards those profits. We don't want to cause problems for peoples' Christmas shopping - but if we have to, we will."

          GMB and Unite members in the sector voted to reject a pay offer from the employers (DS Smith, Saica Pack, and Smurfit Kappa) and through a ballot voted to support industrial action. The action called by the GMB and Unite will consist of an overtime ban commencing 26th November and a day of strike action on 28th November.

          Ian Tonks, Unite National Officer added, “at no time during our meetings with the companies did they raise the affordability, clearly these are profitable companies and our members recognise their contribution towards that profitability and their efforts need rewarding.”

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