API Foils dispute resolved
By Hannah Jordan Monday, 18 June 2012
Workers at packaging specialist API Foils have accepted a deal that ends three weeks of strike action over changes to contractual terms and conditions.
Employees at the Livingston-based plant announced that they would take industrial action from 24 May following a dispute over alleged changes to employment contracts.
Unite claimed that API had imposed changes to employees' contracts, without consulting the union, that would have seen flexible working arrangements removed and staff forced to work longer hours without a salary increase.
Unite national officer Steve Sibbald said in a statement: "API accepted that it failed to consult and failed to recognise the collective bargaining agreement with Unite. We have now received written agreement stating that it will respect the collective bargaining agreement with Unite and in future will have meaningful consultations."
In addition, employees will receive a 1% increase on basic pay from 1 July.
In a statement API Foils Europe managing director Will Oldham, said: "Naturally we are delighted that the dispute is resolved. We believed the strike action was unnecessary because we accepted from the outset that our workforce had genuine concerns and we were committed to addressing these from the start; nothing had been implemented without individual consultation.
"However, to resolve the dispute, we have offered a 1% increase from July 1st and consultation under the collective bargaining agreement once this has been clarified.
"The company can put this behind us now and concentrate on working together to grow the business and create the conditions for future investment. The whole team here is committed to restoring our normal high level of customer service as quickly as possible."
Unite regional officer Gillian McKay said union members were "delighted" with the outcome and that they could return to normal working: "Our members are absolutely delighted with the outcome that all items that lead to the dispute have been resolved in addition to securing a further 1% increase on basic pay from 1 July."
"It has not been an easy period for the workforce and strike action wasn’t a decision that was taken lightly, particularly in this economic climate. The strike action united the workers together and built and developed relationships that will continue in the workplace now that the strike is over."Tweet
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