Members of both unions are taking action at Crane Building Services and Utilities in St Helens

Tim Lezard

strike_report1Workers at American-owned Crane Building Services and Utilities in St. Helens are today beginning a 48-hour strike over an ‘insulting pay offer’.

More than 50 members of Unite will be joining GMB members at the St. Helens-based company, which makes components for gas and water utilities, in a 48-hour stoppage from 10pm today until 10pm on Wednesday.

A further one-day strike action is planned for Monday 8 April. In addition, members are refusing to work overtime from today.

The strike comes after the company initially offered a 0% offer for 2013, followed by a measly revised offer to increase pay in July by 2% but not backdated. Unite members overwhelmingly rejected the deal in an industrial action ballot, with 89% in favour of strike action.

The American-owned company, which is a big supplier to utility companies, said it had not reached its projected profit growth target, yet workers believe that profits were made at the St. Helens site.

Unite regional officer Jimmy Carter said: “At a time when prices are rising and our members are struggling, it is little wonder that their patience has run out following an insulting pay offer.

“It is not fair that shareholders, mostly in America, should get the benefits of profits made in St. Helens by local workers. These workers deserve a fair pay offer.

“We hope the company sees sense and makes an improved offer to settle this dispute.”

* Picket lines will be in place from 10.00pm at Crane Building Services, Delta Road, Parr, St. Helens WA9 2ED.


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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