November 29, 2006 11:28 ET

Chesapeake EWC suspended

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 28, 2006) - Today the Chesapeake European Works Council (EWC) which includes the Fields group of companies in the U.K. was suspended over the company's refusal to discuss the pending issue of industrial action at the Bradford and Newcastle sites, which will have a significant impact on the European operations of Chesapeake.

In an act of solidarity, all of the European employee representatives requested that the company put the Bradford and Newcastle issue as the number one item on the agenda, in order for the company to give an explanation as to why they had adopted an aggressive and unnecessary approach to the employees at Bradford and Newcastle and how the company would deal with any pending industrial action.

The situation at both of these major sites has arisen due to a dispute over this years pay increase. At Bradford not only have the management refused the pay increase, but have unilaterally attempted to impose changes to the employee's terms and conditions of employment on an individual basis or alternatively they would be dismissed. At Newcastle the company has refused to a pay increase, which the employees were entitled to in April.

The employees at both sites have overwhelmingly supported industrial action including a strike. The EWC believe that the industrial action would result in a transfer of production away from Newcastle and Bradford to other European operations and therefore would fall under the scope of the agreement.

Vernon Robson, Amicus National Officer said:

"It is ridiculous that the company is refusing to discuss this issue by stating that this will have no impact on the rest of group. These are 2 of the biggest sites in Europe and will undoubtedly have a significant impact of the other operations of Chesapeake.

"As a consequence of the company's stance on this issue, it has resulted in the workers from across Europe uniting together in support of their colleagues at Bradford and Newcastle."

Due to the company refusing to discuss the issue at the EWC, the employee representatives, in a solidarity response invoked the disputes procedure which is allowed for under the terms of the agreement.

In addition all the Employee representatives from across Europe have agreed on a strategy of solidarity action, which will begin with a day of action planned across all Chesapeake operations, in support of workers at Newcastle and Bradford.


Contact Information

  • Amicus
    Vernon Robson
    07860 538534
    Amicus press office
    Ashraf Choudhury
    020 7420 8914 or 07980 224761