‘Big win’ for striking Interface workers as they secure 15.25% pay rise – Armagh I

Union members at a Craigavon ​​company ended their strike after voting to accept a 15.25% pay rise.

Around 100 Unite members from flooring manufacturer Interface Europe, based at Silverwood Industrial Estate in Lurgan, had been on strike for a week.

In a statement, Unite said members voted overwhelmingly to end their strike after receiving a much improved pay offer from management.

“The wage offer includes a fully consolidated 15.25% increase – which, even with inflation rising 11.7% according to the retail price inflation index (the closest measure of inflation of that experienced by workers) – translates into an improvement in real terms of more than three and a half percent,” a spokesperson said.

Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham congratulated its members and everyone involved in the successful strike.

She said, “This is a big win for our members who work at Interface. This anti-inflation pay rise was achieved through a militant and effective strike that halted production and forced the bosses to share their profits with Craigavon’s workforce.

“This increase was all the more necessary as workers report that their wages have dropped compared to others in the locality. This wage increase sets the bar for workers at all levels.

Regional Labor Officer Neil Moore said he was pleased with the outcome.

He said: “Over the past few years, Interface workers have seen their wages stagnate and fall further and further behind other workplaces. Our members have told us throughout this week-long strike that it is not just about paying, but about upholding respect in their workplace.

“While this pay raise certainly makes things better for our members, the company needs to be prepared to sit up and listen to our members from now on.

“During this strike, we won the support of agency workers whom the company sought to exploit in a failed attempt to break the strike.

“We are now looking to engage with these workers to achieve real improvements in their pay and working conditions.”

Eline Oudenbroek, Vice President of Supply Chain, Interface EMEA, said: “We are delighted to have reached a satisfactory result with our team.”

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