A STRIKE by contract workers at a Dalry manufacturing plant has entered its sixth week.

Maintenance staff who work for Altrad Babcock and Kaefer at the DSM plant will remain on picket duty for at least another three weeks unless a settlement is reached.

The workers are all members of the GMB and Unite unions.

A spokesperson for the Dalry workers said: "We are striking to establish a bonus payment on site which there is a capacity to be paid under the terms and conditions of our agreement.

"We are on the gates at Dalry every weekday between 6am and 12 noon."

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 facility 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.

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.”

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.”

A spokesperson for DSM said: "We regret that strike action has been taken. However, this is a topic for Kaefer and Altrad-Babcock who employ the striking workers' contractors.

"The strike should have no effect on production at DSM in Dalry."