Huntingdon: Second Strike At Company

The GMB Union claims 50 members at a Huntingdon rubber company will strike for a second time today (Wednesday).

It's due to a dispute over cuts in pay and conditions at VIP Polymers.

Union members at the industrial firm have already walked out for one day over the same issues.

The union says employees are faced with a 'ten percent pay cut and severe erosions in their terms and conditions of employment, and if they don't accept these cuts they will be sacked.'

Alan Costello, GMB Organiser, said: "Unfortunately another day of strike action is required as the company are still refusing to negotiate about this 10% cut in pay. 

A pay cut is simply not acceptable to members. 

Members are digging in for a long haul on this as there seems no prospects of an early resolution of this dispute."

However, the Managing Director of VIP Polymers says the proposed cuts are necessary for the long-term future of the business.

The MD also claims the strike could cause damage to the firm in the long-term.

The cuts are said to follow similar measures affecting directors and managers a year ago.

VIP-Polymers Managing Director John Millar said: "The proposed wage cut at VIP Polymers is an inevitable response to the significant economic pressures caused by market conditions. 

Many of our competitors have failed in the current economic environment.

Our proposed wage reduction matching a salary cut already accepted by directors, management and staff, is intended to help us to get through this period difficult period, so we can secure jobs before we move forward again as the economic backdrop improves. 

Given competitiveness in labour costs, we have a quality focused business and a sound financial platform to build the business for the future in the long-term interests of employees, customers and suppliers.

Unfortunately the proposed further strike could be disruptive to hard-won customer relationships with potentially damaging consequences if customer goodwill is lost.

 It could test the patience of customers expecting schedules to be met and it may well prejudice job prospects going forward."

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