Workers balloted for strike action at Devro plant

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Devro workers are to be balloted for strike action a the manufacturer's Scotland plant
Devro workers are to be balloted for strike action a the manufacturer's Scotland plant

Related tags Meat & Seafood

Unite is to ballot more than 200 members at the sausage skin maker Devro’s Scotland plant for strike action in a dispute over pay.

The union rejected a pay offer from the company – three per cent for 2023 – which it claimed didn’t cover the broader increase in the cost of living by 13.4 per cent.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Devro’s pay offer is substantially below the current cost of living, which means it is a pay cut and completely unacceptable to our members.

‘Face action’

“Devro can easily afford to pay better and it should do exactly that. It must table an improved offer or face strike action in the coming weeks. Unite will always support our members fighting back for decent jobs, pay and conditions.”

Should the ballot be successful, strike action and an overtime ban is expected to take place from late march. The ballot opens on today (16 February) and closes on 9 March.

Wendy Dunsmore, Unite industrial officer, added: “Devro has a healthy balance sheet and they should be making a realistic offer rather than stringing our members along.

‘Strike action inevitable’

“Unite has tried to engage in negotiations to seek a positive resolution to this dispute but the company appear unwilling to reward their loyal workforce. Strike action will be inevitable unless Devro makes an offer which meets the aspirations of our members.”

Unite’s pay dispute with Devro comes just over three months after the sausage skin manufacturer agreed to a £540m takeover deal from Saria.​ The deal is expected to complete by the third quarter 2023.

The acquisition of Devro implied an enterprise value of £667m, equivalent to a multiple of 10.9 times enterprise value to earnings before interest, tax and amortisation for the 52 weeks ended 30 June 2022.

In its announcement of the acquisition, Saria said: “Saria believes that Devro represents an attractive opportunity to acquire a highly regarded global business of scale which will accelerate the growth of the Bidco group and deliver a number of benefits to the enlarged SARIA business, its employees, customers and suppliers.”

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