GSK workers to strike after rejecting pay offer at pharmaceutical giant

The GlaxoSmithKline production building in Montrose (Andy Buchanan/PA). Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Hundreds of workers at pharmaceutical giant GSK will stage a series of walkouts in May in a dispute over pay.

Unite said 750 of its members have voted for strike action after rejecting a 6% pay offer and a one-off lump sum of £1,300, describing it as “significantly below” inflation.

Unite said industrial action will be spread throughout May, with workers at six sites – Barnard Castle, Irvine, Montrose, Ware, Worthing and Ulverston – striking on different dates at different times.

GSK said it was disappointed by the decision, and said the pay offer was the equivalent 9.7%.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This is an incredibly wealthy company that can fully afford to pay its workers a fair pay offer.

“This is a classic example of a company seeking to further boost its profits at the expense of its workers.

“Unite has a laser-like focus on defending and enhancing the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and the workforce at GSK will be receiving Unite’s complete support.”

Workers involved in the dispute at the company, formerly known as GlaxoSmithKline, include engineers, process technicians, laboratory analysts, warehouse workers and fire officers.

A GSK spokesperson said: “We recognise that for many of our people, this past year has seen their cost of living rise rapidly and believe the offer we have made to our UK manufacturing colleagues covered by collective bargaining agreements is fair and reasonable.

“We are therefore disappointed that the Unite union has decided to take industrial action, despite receiving a final offer which includes a 6% increase on base pay, shift pay and allowances, plus a discretionary one-time payment of £1,300 – an overall package equivalent to a 9.7% increase.”

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