Dudley wheelchair workers vote on industrial action

Union members at a wheelchair factory in Dudley are to vote over possible strike action in a dispute over pay.

Sunrise Medical in Brierley Hill. Photo: Google.
Sunrise Medical in Brierley Hill. Photo: Google.

Unite has warned of impending industrial action if the ballot of workers at Sunrise Medical, in Thorns Road, Brierley Hill, is in favour of striking.

The union says that the workers have worked hard in recent years to support Sunrise Medical through major organisational change, the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit.

They are seeking at least a three per cent increase in pay and an additional day of holiday for Christmas Eve.

Unite says that due to the management’s unsatisfactory response and a breakdown in the pay talks, workers feel they have no option but to ballot for industrial action.

The company was contacted over the union's claims but said it did not wish to comment.

Ballot papers were sent out from Thursday and the ballot will close on Thursday, May 27. If members vote for industrial action, strikes could begin next month.

Aspirations

Unite regional officer Su Lowe said: “The workforce at Sunrise Medical have repeatedly gone the extra mile to ensure that the company is a success.

“However, despite their dedication and commitment, even the loss of a colleague to Covid, management has failed to support their aspirations for a pay rise.

“As a result members of Unite at Sunrise Medical believe they have been left with no option but to ballot for industrial action.

“If strike action does occur it will inevitably cause serious disruption to the supply of electric wheelchairs and will cause concern to the company’s customers.

“Unite believes that this dispute can still be resolved via negotiation but in order to do so Sunrise Medical needs to make a realistic pay offer. The door is open, we just need the company to step up.”

Sunrise Medical, which started in 1983, was originally based in High Street, Wollaston.

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