Welders at the Leamington Spa based machinery maker are to be balloted for strike action after rejecting the company’s offer of a 3% pay rise.
Thwaites’ welders are represented the Unite union, which says that with the retail price index (RPI) currently standing at 6%, a 3% pay offer amounts to a pay cut in real terms.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “With inflation rates rising families are facing a cost of living crisis and employers must understand that workers will not accept below inflation pay increases which are in reality a real terms pay cut.
“Unite is committed to ensuring the jobs, pay and conditions of all its members and it will fully support the workforce at Thwaites, to ensure that they receive a fair pay rise.”
The ballot for strike action opens today (Tuesday 23rd November) and closes on Tuesday 7th December. If members vote for strike action then stoppages are expected to begin in early 2022.
Unite regional officer Su Lowe said: “This is a loyal, highly skilled and dedicated workforce who are only taking strike action as a last resort. The company has a very healthy order book and the ability to make a fair pay offer. A failure to do so will result in a retention crisis as workers leave for better paid jobs elsewhere.
“Thwaites can still avoid industrial action by returning to the negotiating table and making a renewed pay offer which meets our members’ expectations.”
A Thwaites spokesperson said: “Thwaites prefers to make no comment on this matter.”