Sep 30 2010 Hamilton Advertiser
Result of Tunnock’s ballot on pay to be announced Monday
THE results of a ballot on a two per cent pay offer, made to striking Tunnock’s workers, should be known on Monday.
More than 500 staff at the Uddingston confectionery firm staged 24-hour strikes last Thursday and again on Tuesday.
They were angry at the offer of a 1.43 per cent pay increase and the scrapping of overtime bonus for weekend working.
Management at the plant in Old Edinburgh Road last week upped their offer to two per cent but it failed to halt the two one-day strikes and work-to-rule.
On Thursday, about 100 flag and banner-waving pickets gathered outside the factory to noisy protest at the pay offer.
There appeared to be no bitterness between them and managing director Boyd Tunnock, grandson of the 120-year-old company’s founder, Thomas Tunnock.
However, there were angry words for Mr Tunnock’s daughter Karen Loudon and her husband Fergus who staff say have played an increasing role in the running of the company over the last few years.
Yesterday (Wednesday), Tunnock’s declined to comment on the industrial action.
However, Tony Devlin, regional officer with the union UNITE, said staff were unhappy with the way they had been treated.
He said the workforce had over the past few years accepted low pay offers to help the company through difficult economic times.
Last year, wages for shopfloor staff increased by slightly over one per cent at a time when the pay of the company’s executives jumped by more than 60 per cent – fueling anger at a factory were strikes are rare.
Mr Devlin added: “After they (the staff) accepted the offer, the board of directors awarded themselves big dividends after asking everyone to put austerity at the forefront of their thoughts.”
There was further bitterness between the union and the company over when the two per cent offer was tabled.
Tunnock’s said the unconditional offer, backdated to July 1, 2010, had been submitted through the Arbitration and Conciliation service ACAS last Tuesday.
The Union claim they were unaware of the offer until after the talks with ACAS had concluded.
Derek Ormston, regional industrial organiser for Unite, said members were disappointed that the company had not put forward an offer that would have prevented the strike action.
He added that members would await the outcome of the ballot before deciding whether to continue with the action.