Omagh dairy workers’ strike for decent pay

Dairy workers employed at Leckpatrick Creamery (part of Kerry Foods) have taken part in a series of industrial actions to defend wages. 
The strikes are against a mere 1% pay rise at a time when inflation is registered at 5%. This “pay increase” also follows a pay freeze two years ago and a small increase last year.
Up to 45 workers took part in a 24-hour strike in July with plans for two other 24-hour strikes being called off after the union went into negotiations. After a pathetic 1.5% pay increase was offered by management, the workers decided down tools and upped the ante by increasing each strike to 48 hours.
Regional organizer of Unite, Gareth Scott told local papers that the first 48-hour strike “was very well supported and, in fact, it was attended by every union member with the exception of those not present at work due to holiday time.”
Kerry Foods are also attempting to pit creamery against creamery by negotiating different pay increases in different creameries. So while workers in Omagh have received a 1% “wage increase,” staff in Coleraine have had a 2% increase and employees at a site in Enniskillen have seen variable increases ranging from 2.5% to 4.3%. Co-ordinated action across all sites would send a powerful message that workers will not be pitted against each other in a race to the bottom but also show the workers in Omagh that they are not isolated.
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