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Portadown branch of Glen Dimplex to take 24-hour strike action

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Confirmation: Susan Fitzgerald

Confirmation: Susan Fitzgerald

Confirmation: Susan Fitzgerald

The Portadown branch of Glen Dimplex is set to down tools as workers strike for an hourly wage increase.

Employees at the firm, which manufactures advanced storage heaters, commenced work-to-rule industrial action on Monday in pursuit of their hopes for a living wage.

However, after nearly a week of the graduated action, Unite the Union has confirmed that the first 24-hour strike action is set to commence this coming Monday.

The majority of the workers at Glen Dimplex are currently paid an hourly rate of less than £8.75, which, according to the independent and UK-based Living Wage Foundation, is the bare minimum hourly rate for workers to have a basic standard of living.

Glen Dimplex was established in 1973 under Glen Electrical, which acquired Dimplex in 1977.

The company recently published pre-tax profits of close to £34m.

In a recent ballot, 85.7% of Unite members voted for strike action and 91.4% for industrial action short of strike action.

Unite regional coordinating officer Susan Fitzgerald confirmed plans for the action to escalate.

She said: "This is a company that can well afford to meet the workforce demand for a living wage.

"Indeed, while workers in Portadown are being told that the company can't afford to pay £8.75 an hour, the accounts confirm that they managed to find €13m to pay a dividend to shareholders last year.

"I find it mind-boggling that a profitable company is forcing working people to go to the gate for such a modest demand."

Belfast Telegraph