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Reuters
Published
Jan 2, 2015
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Barbour faces potential warehouse strike

By
Reuters
Published
Jan 2, 2015

LONDON, United Kingdom - Barbour, the British clothing brand famous for its wax jackets, is facing a four-week strike by warehouse staff in Gateshead, northeast England, that could hit deliveries of its clothes to department stores, union Unite said.

The designs of J Barbour and Sons have long been favoured by country sports enthusiasts. The jackets were also worn by U.S. actor and motor racer Steve McQueen in the 1960s and more recently have become fashionable among young urbanites.

Warehouse workers at the privately-owned company held a one-week strike before Christmas over new contracts, which involve the removal of payments for unsocial working hours and the requirement to work until 11pm.

Unite's head of media and campaigns, Alex Flynn, said that around 70 members from the 130-strong workforce were prepared to strike from Jan. 5 if the union could not reach a negotiated settlement with the 120-year-old company.

"The staff have played an important role in ensuring Barbour is the success it is, and a degree of flexibility is required on the employer's behalf," he said on Wednesday.

Barbour was not immediately available to comment. The company has previously said it was offering a "substantial pay increase", according to reports.

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