Unite the Union

Unite the Union

October 17, 2007 12:17 ET

Strike threat forces re-think on agency staff

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Oct. 17, 2007) - Unite members at publishing firm Harper Collins, part of the News International Corporation, have achieved a major victory after balloting overwhelmingly for strike action.

For over a year Harper Collins, in Glasgow, have been hiring agency workers to do the work of the core permanent workers, almost replacing them in certain jobs. The hiring of these agency staff, at first only 10 but quickly reaching over 100, lead to permanent staff being reduced and a dramatic reduction in earnings for its core staff.

Unite balloted its members for industrial action which resulted in an overwhelming 159 of the 160 members balloted voting yes to strike. This then led to the management wanting to negotiate.

After these negotiations, the company reinstated the overtime for its core staff and reduced agency staff levels.

Unite National Officer, Steve Sibbald, said:
"This is fantastic result and great news for our members. This just shows what can be done when people are determined to stand up for what they believe.

"This is a blatant example of how some companies by undercutting the earnings of core permanent workers can exploit agency workers who are hired on much lesser terms and conditions that their permanent colleagues."

Contact Information

  • Steve Sibbald
    07958 538537
    Unite Press Office
    Ashraf Choudhury
    020 7420 8914 / 07980 224761.