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Factory staff to walk out over pay

PUBLISHED: 13:56 03 July 2008 | UPDATED: 20:46 05 July 2010

Staff at a plastics factory in north Suffolk are planning a walk-out over pay next week.

Workers at Promens, of Beccles, which makes plastic packaging for household brands like Dettol, Radox and Tresemmé , will stage a 24-hour strike on Tuesday after they were offered a 2.

Staff at a plastics factory in north Suffolk are planning a walk-out over pay next week.

Workers at Promens, of Beccles, which makes plastic packaging for household brands like Dettol, Radox and Tresemmé , will stage a 24-hour strike on Tuesday after they were offered a 2.2pc pay rise.

Promens refused to comment on the strike, but the union claims the factory “will have great difficulty operating on the day”. Ivan Crane, regional industrial organiser for Unite the Union, said its members were fed up with low pay rises.

Mr Crane said: “Over the last few years our members have reluctantly accepted below inflation pay offers. The company has offered 2.2pc and with inflation at 4.3pc once again it is a cut in our members' real take-home pay. They have said enough is enough.”

The current rate of inflation is 4.3pc according to the retail price index, which includes housing costs, and 3.3pc according to the consumer price index, which does not, but is the rate used by the government.

An employee at Promens, who did not want to be named, said: “People are pretty upset. This pay rise does not even cover the cost of living.”

Another said: “There is a lot of bad feeling. They have got the work there, so there must be money coming in.”

Next week's walk-out will begin at 6am on Tuesday and end at 6am Wednesday. The union is considering further 24-hour strikes on Thursday July 10, Tuesday July 15 and Thursday July 17 if Promens does not offer workers a better deal.

Mr Crane said: “This is the first strike and other strikes are planned. We are hoping the company will contact us before that. We are ready and willing to sit down with the company to resolve the issue.”

The plastics company employs 255 people at its Beccles site and Unite said many of them would be involved in the strike, causing considerable disruption to the factory's production.

Icelandic company Promens has three packaging factories in the UK and is one of the world's largest plastics manufacturers. It took over the Beccles factory from Polimoon in July 2007. The factory, which is on the Ellough industrial estate, traded as Fibrenyle until 2003.

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