Survitec workers at Dunmurry to ballot for strike action

Ballot follows claims management ''refuse'' to move on pay claim

Thursday, 5th August 2021, 5:24 pm
Updated Thursday, 5th August 2021, 5:50 pm
SDLP MLA, Sinead McGlacken talks to Unite's Neil Moore at a socially-distanced protest held in July to help raise the voices of workers in the Hospitality and tourism sector. Photo by Matt Mackey / Press Eye.

Unite Regional Officer Neil Moore today (Thursday) confirmed that Survitec workers in Dunmurry are being balloted on strike action. The ballot, which starts tomorrow (Friday) and will conclude on August 16, follows the company’s refusal to entertain a claim for a 3% cost of living pay increase.

Survitec’s Dunmurry plant produces a range of survival and safety equipment, including marine life-jackets and life-rafts, immersion, chemical and radiological protection suits, fire retardant and gravity suits, marine evacuation systems and emergency ejection equipment.

Key customers included the MOD, US and Australian navy, Shell, Lockheed-Martin and Princess Cruise lines.

Commenting, Mr Moore said:

“Workers at Survitec are seeking a very modest 3% Cost of Living pay adjustment to defend their living conditions. Our members worked throughout lockdown, maintaining production but receiving no pay uplift. In real terms, their pay has thus fallen behind as prices surged upwards”.

“While the lockdown has proved difficult for a number of sectors, Survitec’s Dunmurry workforce have been busier than ever – mostly doing work for cruise lines which used the lockdown to refurbish their vessels. Survitec sales increased by more than 5 % to £86.9 million in 2020, and we would anticipate this will climb higher in 2021.

“Local management have indicated that they have no latitude to meet the demand of workers for a 3% pay adjustment for the increasing cost of living, leaving workers no option but to ballot for action.

"Unite’s strike ballot will open tomorrow [Friday August 6] and close on Monday August 16. We urge all our members in Survitec to take this opportunity, have their say and send a strong message to their employer that worker's pay and livelihoods cannot be bottom of the company’s agenda.” Mr Moore concluded.

Survitec have been contacted for comment.