STAFF AT one of Sheffield’s last remaining steelworks are set to strike in a row over pay.
Machine shop workers at Forgemasters will stage an overtime ban and 24-hour stoppage on Monday and Wednesday after members of union Unite voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action.
The union says it has been forced to act after the company failed to meet demands for bonus packages for 61 employees to be merged into basic pay.
Union leaders argue that the basic hourly rate for young workers barely exceeds minimum wage but bonuses make up 37 per cent of their total pay, leaving them in a ‘financially precarious’ position.
Unite regional officer Doug Patterson said: “Sheffield Forgemasters has repeatedly failed to address’ reasonable demands for bonuses to be consolidated into pay. The unwillingness of the company leaves some of our members on an hourly rate just over £7 when being assessed for credit and mortgages.
“Many of our highly skilled members are in a financially precarious position because of this arrangement. They are taking action to demand financial security.”
The firm, in Brightside Lane, Attercliffe, has a workforce of 800.
Chief executive Graham Honeyman said: “The counter bid offer put back by the machine shop group would cost the company three quarters of a million pounds each year to implement across all employees.
“We are working hard to even out the complex nature of our payment terms, borne from the fact that this company is a historical conglomeration of several different companies.”