Striking workers win 15% pay increase

Workers end strike action at Interface after winning an inflation-busting pay increase.

Union members at flooring manufacturer Interface Europe in Craigavon have voted overwhelmingly to end their week-long strike action after receiving an improved pay offer from their employer.

The industrial dispute arose after management rejected the workers’ pay claim for an 11 percent increase, instead offering a 5.25 percent increase with an additional 2 percent to shift premiums for hourly employees. 

After workers rejected the offer, management unilaterally imposed the pay offer on agency workers.

The improved offer includes a 15.25 percent fully-consolidated increase.

“This is a big win for our members working in Interface,” said Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham. “This inflation-busting pay increase was won through military and effective strike action which shut down production and forced bosses to share their profits with the Craigavon workforce.”

Graham explained that the pay increase will set the bar for workers across the board.

Regional officer for the workers, Neil Moore, expressed his satisfaction with the outcome:

“Over recent years, Interface workers have watched their pay stagnate and fall ever further behind other workplaces.

“Our members have been telling us throughout this week-long strike that this was not only about pay, but also standing up for respect in their workplace.

“Whilst this pay increase will certainly improve things for our members, the company must be prepared to sit up and listen to our members from now on.”

Moore added that the end of the strike action marks a new beginning for the union:

“During the course of this strike we won the support of agency workers who the company sought to exploit in a failed attempt to break the strike. We are now looking to engage with these workers to secure real improvements to their pay and conditions of employment.”