Gomer Press has hit back after 16 production staff went on strike this afternoon in a row over enforced changes to employee contracts and allegations of bullying and harrassment.
Managing director Jonathan Lewis said that the company was trying to move forward in a way that would secure its future and that more than three-quarters of staff supported its actions.
Today’s strike at the Ceredigion-based company, which was organised by Unite, is the first of a series of walkouts organised by the union after Gomer Press pushed through a 2% staff pay increase without negotiating with Unite and made changes to its sick pay scheme.
The union said that, along with this afternoon’s strike, two more half-days and nine 24-hour strikes have been scheduled on Wednesdays over the next 12 weeks
However, Lewis argued that the company wanted "the best for all of its staff" and that its "working conditions and benefits are testament to this".
He said that the 2% pay increase for staff was due to be followed by an additional performance related payment at the end of the financial year "when the financial situation of the company is clearer".
Lewis added: "The company has one of the best sick pay schemes in the industry, paying 100% on days two and three, then 75% for up to six weeks followed by 30% for up to six months.
"The company sickness insurance scheme then comes into force from six months, paying 30% until the employee returns to work. This is at a time when many companies in the industry are reverting to statutory sick pay, which is significantly lower than our scheme."
Gomer Press recently concluded a £3m upgrade of its pre-press, printing and finishing equipment in a bid to become more competitive and to increase turnover by 20% in two years.
Lewis said the company had made the investment to ensure it "keeps abreast of the latest developments in print" and to "secure all jobs well into the future".
On the allegations of bullying and harassment he said that the management team had not received any reports from any employee and that the claims were "completely unfounded".
"We treat all staff fairly and equally, and will deal with any proven instances of bullying within our disciplinary procedure," he added.
blog comments powered by Disqus