Strike at Interface in Lurgan continues to day three
Inpasse between workers and carpet manufacturer Interface in Lurgan continues with strike action into its third day.
Staff are said to be ‘resolute’ in their bid for an 11% pay rise and intent on continuing with the strike.
Neil Moore, regional officer for Unite, said: “The strike has now continued into its third day. Our members are resolute and have told me they intend to stay out until they get a respectful offer from the company.
“We will now be running pickets from 0700-1930 daily as of tomorrow. The company has indicated they are open to talks.”
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When Interface was asked about the current status of talks with the union, the firm reissued a statement from last Friday.
What the company said
Eline Oudenbroek, Vice President Supply Chain, Interface EMEA said: “We have worked tirelessly over the past few months, in partnership with Unite union representatives, to understand the specific needs and concerns of our Craigavon team members. We believe the package offered as a part of our annual salary negotiations remains highly competitive considering the current challenging and ever-changing business conditions. We review and adjust our employment benefits and practices each year to ensure we remain a responsible, supportive, and attractive employer.
“Interface has proudly manufactured commercial carpet tile in Craigavon for 40 years. The team is a valued part of our global manufacturing operation, and we are committed to continuing our conversations with Unite and our colleagues to find a satisfactory resolution for us all.”
What the union said
The union, however, feels that workers at the Craigavon-based flooring manufacturer are entitled to the 11% pay rise as it is the current rate of retail price inflation.
It said the strike follows a ballot of Unite’s more than one hundred members which resulted in a majority of 87 percent for strike action on a 95 percent turnout.
Unite’s membership represents almost all full-time contracted production workers onsite.
It is understood the firm has offered a pay increase of 5.25 percent with an additional two percent to shift premiums for hourly employees working shifts. This offer was overwhelmingly rejected by workers, the union said.