GMB union hails 'victory' for Hartlepool Expanded Metal Company workers after cost of living pay dispute

Dozens of Hartlepool metal workers have won a pay rise after a historic strike.
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More than 50 staff at Expanded Metal Company walked out for six days last week as part of the first strike at the company in more than 100 years.

They were unhappy with a 5.7% basic salary increase offer and one off £225 cost of living payment given the cost-of-living crisis and high inflation.

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But workers have returned to work after winning a 7.5% pay rise, as well as a £600 lump sum and improved sick pay.

Expanded Metal Company workers took strike action over pay.Expanded Metal Company workers took strike action over pay.
Expanded Metal Company workers took strike action over pay.

The GMB union, which represents workers at the 25,000sqm site on the Longhill Industrial estate, has hailed the new terms as a victory.

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Paul Clark, GMB Organiser, said: “This is an amazing victory for these members and their families.

“Strike action is always our last resort to resolve any dispute.

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“These GMB members have shown you will not win unless you are prepared to fight.

“I am immensely proud of these workers who stood strong for six days on the picket line and gave up their wages to make a stand against a pay offer which fell way short of their aspirations.

“By doing so they put pressure on their employer, forcing their hand in to making an improved offer that members deemed as acceptable.”

The Expanded Metal Company is a leading developer and manufacturer of expanded metal mesh products for a range of sectors from construction to security.

Union members first walked out on January 24, and were prepared to strike for three days a week for four weeks.

The company declined to comment on the new deal.

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