WORKERS at a Saltney factory are into their seventh week of industrial action over an ongoing pay dispute.
About 40 staff at engineering firm Lion Deva have been holding weekly one-day strikes and are due to return to the picket lines this Friday on River Lane.
Pay talks between the company’s management, workers’ representative union Unite and the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) have been taking place, but have yet to reach a satisfactory compromise.
One of the key disputes relates to the workers’ basic rate of pay, which Unite argues is below the minimum wage and is topped up through bonus payments.
Liz Lewis, regional industrial organiser for Unite, said: “Lion Deva is an ongoing situation – there is an overtime ban and we are taking industrial action each Friday.
“We are having meetings but the management’s position is that they are not offering anything new.
“They provided an offer which still had the same basic rate of pay, which I took to members but was completely rejected.
“What the workers are looking for is not unreasonable and it is unfortunate we have had to take this action.
“Legally, what the company are doing complies with the law but unfortunately I feel it’s morally wrong.
“What is heartening is the togetherness of staff – very few non-members have crossed the picket line during this industrial action, and everyone is like a family – they have stood together throughout this.”
Alyn and Deeside AM Carl Sargeant has written to the company asking to clarify the wage structures of the company, while both he and Alyn and Deeside MP have met the company’s management.
Richard Williams, operations director for Lion Deva, said: “We are still working on the talks and have spoken to Mark Tami MP after meeting him last Friday.
“We want to reach a compromise and are waiting on developments, although regrettably we have had to make redundancies.”