Hanson brick workers threaten strike

Workers at Hanson Building Products’ Whittlesey brick factory are threatening to go on strike from Monday April 8.
The continuous strike by 13 burners is part of a dispute over holidays according to Unite, the largest union in the country.

Hanson Building Products employs about 200 workers at the site at in Cambridgeshire and Unite says the dispute centres on a move by management to unilaterally reduce the number of holidays for the burners from 25 to 21-days-a-year.

Last year, the company transformed the working conditions of everyone working at the site, after lengthy negotiations produced a settlement on 24/7 working.

Unite regional officer Tony Ellingford said: “The major issue is the holiday entitlement where 13 burners had a holiday allocation based on the hours they worked which was 25 12-hour shifts, plus eight bank holidays.

“Now management has unilaterally removed four shifts from the burners’ holiday entitlement.”

Unite said that management had promised all along that the burners’ holidays would not be affected. The burners are clearly key to the smooth operation of the site and if the kilns are not working, it will quickly stop work at the site.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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