Workers at the Kingspan facility in Portadown are continuing to picket outside the gates as a standoff with company management over pay continues.
The industrial action, which will severely impact production at the factory which employs 200 people, went up at 6am on Monday and has continued into a second day.
Management placed an improved offer on the table on the even of strike action which the Union says “fell well short of Unite members’ demands for a cost of living pay increase”.
The Portadown workers say they are also angry that they have been excluded from a £1,000 cost of living payment that was provided to all other Kingspan Water & Energy employees.
Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham expressed her support for the striking workers: “The Kingspan workers can count on the full support of their union, Unite, as they strike to win the pay increase and bonus they deserve.
“It is our members’ hard work which delivers Kingspan’s huge profits so it is only fair they get their slice of the pie. Kingspan can well afford to provide their employees with a cost of living pay increase and they should do exactly that.”
In 2022, the company’s revenue increased by 28% to £7.3 billion translating into a trading profit of £733 million, a figure 10 per cent higher than the previous year.
Kingspan workers out on the picket line in Portadown this morning for a fair pay increase after a gate meeting this morning and a last minute pay offer was rejected ✊✊#JobsPayConditions @GlobalKingspan pic.twitter.com/zPMimaRImL
— Unite the Union NI (@UniteunionNI) March 20, 2023
Unite stated that the company rewarded its shareholders with a dividend of £2.89 on every share last year – an increase of over 8%.
Unite Regional Officer for the workforce, Neil Moore, called on management to make a cost of living pay increase offer to end the strike.
“The Kingspan workers are determined to win a cost of living pay increase,” he said.
“There’s a real sense of resolution on this picket line and production at this factory has been massively impacted.
“After two years of real terms pay cuts, these workers are not taking it any more. Management needs to respect these workers and return to the table with a genuine cost of living increase. For our part, Unite stands ready to return to negotiations but they need to be based on a significant improved offer from management.”
Armagh I has contacted Kingspan for comment.