Further strikes planned at coffin factory as pay dispute continues

Unite say staff will face real terms pay cuts during the cost of living crisis if an improved pay agreement is not reached.

Further strikes planned at Glasgow coffin factory as Co-op bosses and union fail to reach pay agreement iStock

Strikes at a Glasgow coffin factory are set to continue into winter after talks between bosses and trade union Unite failed to reach agreement.

Co-op Funeralcare staff in Govan are set to walk out on a series of strikes between November 14 to 21 with warning of additional strikes if a resolution is not found.

The union say staff are facing real term pay cuts during the cost of living crisis.

The site is one of the UK’s only manufacturers of coffins, and the only one in Scotland.

It comes after talks at ACAS to resolve the current coffin factory dispute failed and the meeting broke up without any agreement between union representatives and bosses.

STV News previously reported how staff walked out on strike on October 31.

Members of the Unite said the tabled deal was “less than half” of the latest estimate of inflation according to the retail price index, at 12.3%.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite representatives attended ACAS in the hope of an improved offer. The employer however failed to come to the meeting with anything more for our members and so strike action will continue with the full support of Unite. The Co-op should be under no illusion that Unite members are up for the fight.”

Willie Thomson, Unite regional officer said: “The determination of our members to win a fair wage deal remains resolute and Coop Funeralcare must recognise this or risk a long and damaging dispute. It is totally unacceptable to ask our members to take a real term pay cut during a cost of living crisis. Our members deserve better.

“It’s time for the Co-op to show they are different from ‘bad bosses’ and come to the negotiating table with a significant offer to end this dispute. With the full backing of Unite our members will continue to fight for a decent wage.”

A spokesperson for Co-op Funeralcare said: “Our colleagues at our Glasgow coffin factory are a hugely valued part of our Co-op and following ongoing discussions with Unite we are disappointed that we have not been able to reach an agreement about pay. 

“In spite of the difficult trading environment, we have offered all of our colleagues at the coffin factory a fair pay increase. We are confident that the combined base pay and production bonus for roles within the Coffin Factory remain highly competitive. We would like to provide full reassurance that the strike has no impact on our ability support to bereaved families and we are able to maintain a strong supply of coffins.”

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