Workers at Belfast-based missile manufacturer Thales vote in favour of strike action

Workers at the Belfast-based missile maker Thales have voted to strike in wage disputes.

Union Unite said its members voted 77.5% in favor of better pay in an industry vote.

The union has asked management to fully meet its members’ wage demands for an “inflation plus one percent” increase of 8.1% based on the retail price index for the year released in January.

A union spokesman said management had so far offered a 5% pay rise plus an unconsolidated lump sum of £500.

The site employs 600 people.

Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham urged Thales to respond to the salary expectations of his Belfast workforce.

She said: “Thales’ success in Northern Ireland was widely publicized by the Tory Government – in fact, it was recently visited by a Government Minister.

“Thales workers deserve better. This is an extremely successful company that can afford to pay a reasonable salary increase that fully meets the salary requirements of our members. Thales workers can count on Unite’s full support to achieve this result.”

Unite Regional Coordinating Officer Susan Fitzgerald is the Chief Human Resources Officer at Thales. She said: “Thales generates well over a billion in profits every year and those profits are only going to grow.

“Last year the company increased the dividend by 45 percent, but workers are only being offered 5 percent instead of the 8.1 percent wage claim they filed earlier this year.

“Our members have given this union a strong strike mandate; in the absence of any movement on the part of employers, workers have no choice but to take their dispute to the picket line.”

Thales was contacted for comment. Workers at Belfast-based missile manufacturer Thales vote in favour of strike action

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