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Flooring workers win 9 per cent rise

10 December 2022

Photo Richard Oldroyd/shutterstock.com.

Workers at vinyl flooring manufacturer Polyflor in Bury, Manchester have won a pay increase of 9 per cent plus two lump sums of £660, the first to be paid before Christmas and the second in January 2023.

In August the company offered a 2 per cent pay rise. Polyflor then responded to the ballot vote to strike by suspending shifts for process workers, an act labelled as vindictive by the GMB union, which represents the workers.

Industrial action took place in September and October and then for most of November when talks failed. 

Record profits

Polyflor Ltd. is part of the James Halstead group of businesses which has been manufacturing flooring in Britain since 1915. In October this year James Halstead posted record pre-tax profits of £52.06 million.

The profit announcement, in the middle of a three-week strike by workers at Polyflor, prompted an immediate response from GMB rep John Waddington.

"Near record profits have yet again been made in the last twelve months at Polyflor. Dividends paid to shareholders are to be the same as last year's record high and yet workers’ wages have fallen in real terms by 10 per cent.”

The employer’s offer was accepted with 107 union members in favour and 17 against. The union’s original demand had been for a 10 per cent pay rise.