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Peter Hadden

Bookies staff to strike

(June 2000)

From Socialist Voice, No. 24, June 2000.
Transcribed and marked up by Ciaran Crossey.

Workers in Sean Graham bookies could soon be on strike over pay: Sean Graham pays miserly wages – £3.60 for till operators – and the staff have had enough.

After two years with no pay rise the company earlier this year came up with an offer of 1.5%. Faced with a ballot for strike action they upped the offer to 4%. The workers rejected this as 4% of nothing is still nothing.

The ballot result was a clear yes for a strike. Understanding that the workers were determined Sean Graham added another one percent to the offer. The workers were in no mood to accept this but they were advised by their union, the T&GWU, to go back into negotiation and postpone the strike.

A few weeks of negotiation have produced only a stand off. Sean Graham are refusing to budge on their final offer. Other grievances remain unresolved.

Under the anti-union laws strikes have to take place within 28 days of the ballot. This deadline has now passed and many workers feel they should have implemented the original decision to strike and carried on with negotiations at the same time. There was an angry mood at a general meeting of T&GWU members at the end of May.

As we go to press negotiations have broken down and the T&GWU is issuing another ballot. The result is almost certain to be a rejection of the 5% offer. A strike is now likely in June.

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Last updated: 24.11.2013