Unite plans protest at Morrisons' UK head office, in ‘warning shot’ over Gib dispute
Campaigners from Unite will on Friday stage a protest at the head office of Morrisons in Bradford to expose what the union described as “shabby mistreatment and anti-trade union tactics” directed against fellow union members in Gibraltar.
Morrisons workers in Gibraltar have been on strike since 30 January in a dispute over what Unite says is a “paltry” 2.4% pay increase when the retailer’s underlying profits for last year were “a massive” £828 million.
According to Unite, instead of negotiating to end the strike Morrisons “wasted money” by flying in UK workers to replace the roles of striking workers in Gibraltar – paying them £2 an hour more than workers on the Rock.
The pay disparity is one of the main reasons for the dispute, the union says.
In a statement, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “If Morrisons think it can sneak strike-breaking tactics into Gibraltar then it should think again.”
“These workers are doing the same job as they would be in the UK, with the same bills to pay.”
“Morrisons should be paying the rate for the job, it’s as simple as that.”
“Morrisons can clearly easily afford to pay fairer wages, it is choosing not to.”
“Our protest is just a warning shot.”
“The union is ready to up the ante and do whatever it takes to win a fair deal for our Gibraltar Morrisons members.”
Morrisons has previously stated it will press on with the pay increase despite the opposition from Unite, which does not represent all of the company’s employees in Gibraltar.
Workers in Gibraltar earn around £2 per hour less than their counterparts in the UK for undertaking the same job.
Unite says the store’s pay deal means that the lowest paid worker at Morrisons Gibraltar will be paid just £8.47 per hour.
Last week, Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham wrote to David Potts the CEO of Morrisons supermarket chain to call on him to fund a fair pay increase for workers based in Gibraltar taking strike action to defend their living standards.