Jan 8, 2015
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Barbour: strike continues, march planned for Friday

Jan 8, 2015

Workers at British heritage brand Barbour's warehouse in Gateshead are continuing the one-month strike begun this Monday in protest against changes to working hours.

Forced changes to workers' contracts included removal of the unsocial hours payment and the introduction of a requirement to work until 11 o’clock at night, according to union Unite. On Friday, strikers will call on Barbour chair Dame Margaret Barbour to help resolve the dispute, as they march to Barbour House to deliver a letter to the company headquarters.

Barbour management has agreed to ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) talks and in their letter, workers urge Dame Barbour to ensure the company’s management enter the talks in a positive and constructive manner.  The march will begin at 9.30am and be followed by a rally at 10am.

Unite regional officer Fazia Hussain-Brown said: “Barbour’s actions run contrary to the family values the company says it holds dear. We hope that Dame Barbour listens to the workers’ concerns and ensures that the company’s management enters Monday’s talks in a constructive manner."

“Workers have shown through their solid support for the strike that they are prepared to stand firm to get a just settlement. Management should be under no illusion of the workforce’s resolve and we urge Dame Margaret Barbour to intervene and help resolve a dispute which is damaging the Barbour brand.”

The current strike follows six days of strike action in December over a "sign or be sacked" ultimatum. If workers don’t sign away their unsocial hours payment and agree to work until 11pm by 30 January then they face the sack, Unite says.

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