Aerospace staff to strike

By Ian Dipple Thursday 12 December 2013 Updated: 13/12 09:31

STAFF at Redditch's largest employer are set to go on strike in a dispute over pay.

About half the workforce at Mettis Aerospace on Windsor Road - some 300 people - will walkout for 24 hours from 6am next Wednesday (December 18) over what union bosses have described as a 'completely inadequate' pay deal.

Unite union say 80 per cent of staff balloted voted for the strike action after last ditch talks regarding a pay deal for 2014 broke down.

The company, which the union claims has over £100million of orders on its books and is owned by San Francisco based venture capitalists Saints Capital Group Chamonix LP, imposed a pay freeze this year and was offering a two per cent rise during 2014 to 2016.

But union bosses are asking for a five per cent rise.

Unite regional officer Bob Shaw said offering a six per cent rise over four years would mean the incomes of workers falling dramatically behind the soaring cost of living.

"It is an insult to a dedicated, hard-working and skilled workforce," he said.

"This has to be seen in the context of the company’s full order book of £100 million in an industry where growth is expected to be five per cent year-on-year.

"We call on the management to enter into meaningful and constructive talks so that an equitable settlement can be reached. Unite’s door is open for talks at any time."

A spokeswoman for Mettis Aerospace said after a number of difficult trading years due to the global economic downturn, the company was in the process of restructuring and on the point of securing significant new global business which would ensure employment continued in Redditch. But she said the claim they had £100million on their order books was wrong.

She added they had given higher than average pay rises over the last few years and the three year pay deal also included a site performance related bonus, staff flexibility and a new improvement scheme.

"Mettis are extremely disappointed that Unite members have voted in favour of industrial action risking nearly 80 years of manufacturing on this site," she said.

"We are confident that disruption can be kept to a minimum and the business will operate as normal on the 18th."

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