Workers who make vinyl floorcoverings at the Polyflor company in Manchester were set to strike for two days on Wednesday and Thursday this week over pay.
John Waddington is a GMB union rep at Polyflor. He told Socialist Worker, “Every year we get a pay rise on 1 July, but last year that deadline came and went.
“Management said that’d they’d talk about it with workers at the end of the year, but that didn’t happen either.”
“They’ve offered us three separate pay deals now, none of which offer us the backdated pay we lost out on last year.
“The company uses any excuse to try to not give us a pay rise, one year it was Brexit, this time around its Covid.”
“But we’ve always got back pay in the past. So it’s possible this time.”
Workers are demanding a 3 percent pay rise from last year and 2 percent on last year’s wages to be paid back to them.
The bosses at Polyflor are trying to deny that the company is profitable but John said this isn’t the case.
“From what I’ve heard the company is lucrative. It made £21 million last year and they are willing to share that money with shareholders but not with workers.”
Last week workers were laid off by their employers but are returning to the workplace this week when they will strike.
“The members are determined. The call to strike has come from the ground up,” John added.