UNION members are to go on strike at a manufacturing plant in Dalry from tomorrow (April 18).

Representatives of the GMB and Unite trade unions say the dispute is over the failure by Kaefer Limited and Altrad Babcock Limited to pay a local bonus to engineering construction workers who operate under the National Agreement for Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI) across the UK. 

The workers at the DSM facility in the town are demanding a local bonus under the terms of the NAECI agreement in recognition of flexibility and work being undertaken to assist with the delivery of a new manufacturing plant.

The two unions say that a bonus payment would also help offset the cost of living crisis with inflation currently standing at 13.8 per cent (RPI).

The unions say that Altrad and Kaefer, along with DSM, which owns the manufacturing plant, have refused to enter negotiations over bonus payments. 

DSM’s parent group - Royal DSM N.V. Group – recently recorded a net profit of €1.7bn (£1.5bn) for 2022.

The strike action by contract workers at the facility begins on Tuesday, April 18 and continues each day up to May 8, 2023 when the action will conclude at 11.59pm. 

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “Unite’s members were classed as essential workers throughout the pandemic, and they contributed to keeping the Dalry plant running on a daily basis.

"This has helped to generate huge profits for the parent group Royal DSM.

“Unite’s members are determined to fight for what they deserve especially when they see other workers receiving local bonuses at similar plants across the UK. 

"We will support our members all the way in their fight for better jobs, pay and conditions.”

DSM was awarded a grant of more than £2 million from the Scottish Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (SIETF), which launched in December 2020.

DSM is in the process of constructing a new plant on the same area as the existing facility.

The development is expected to cost more than £100m, and it has been supported by a £10m funding package from Scottish Enterprise.

The new plant will manufacture a product known as Bovaer, which will be used as a feed additive for cows and other animals.

Siobhan McCready, Unite industrial officer, added: “Unite’s members working for Altrad and Kaefer are angry at being denied a local bonus.  

"DSM is also in the process of building a new plant in Dalry worth an estimated £100m, and the workers have shown incredible flexibility and regularly turn out at short notice.

"The workers feel completely ignored by management who have refused to engage with us, so our members feel they have no choice but to take a stand.”

GMB Scotland organiser Dominic Pritchard said: “This is not a dispute we want to have and this is not an industrial action we want to take.

"It is a last resort and one our members have been driven to because of the failure of management to even discuss with our members the incentive bonus payments due them.

“We hope they review their current position and allow negotiations to begin.”

DSM has been approached for comment.