Striking Barbour workers will be calling on the jacket maker’s chair Dame Margaret Barbour to help resolve a dispute over forced changes to their contracts when they deliver a letter to the firm’s headquarters in South Shields today (Friday 9 January).
The workers, who will have completed the first week of a month long strike tomorrow, will be marching to Barbour House, Monks Way, Bede Trading Estate, South Shields, NE32 3HF, where they will hand in the letter and hold a rally.
The solidarity march and rally comes as Barbour management agreed to Acas talks on Monday 12 January. Outlining their concerns in the letter to Dame Barbour, the workers urge the chair to ensure the company’s management enter the talks in a positive and constructive manner.
The march is scheduled to set off from the Tesco car park located at Towers Place, Simonside, South Shields, NE34 9QD at 9:30am and arrive at Barbour House at 9:50am, where the letter will be handed in at 10:00am followed by a rally.
Speakers at the rally include, Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn and Emma Lewell-Buck MP for South Shields.
Unite regional officer Fazia Hussain-Brown said: “Barbour’s actions run contrary to the family values the company says it holds dear. We hope that Dame Barbour listens to the workers’ concerns and ensures that the company’s management enters Monday’s talks in a constructive manner. Workers have shown through their solid support for the strike that they are prepared to stand firm to get a just settlement. Management should be under no illusion of the workforce’s resolve and we urge Dame Margaret Barbour to intervene and help resolve a dispute which is damaging the Barbour brand.”
January’s four week stoppage by the Gateshead based workers started on Monday 5 January and follows six days of strike action in December over a ‘sign or be sacked’ ultimatum. If workers don’t sign away their unsocial hours payment and agree to work until 11 o’clock at night by 30 January then they face the sack.