13 Days Remaining

Friday 19th
posted by Peter Lazenby in Britain

GRINCH bosses at posh coatmaker J Barbour and Sons cancelled Christmas yesterday by banning striking workers from the annual company party.

A series of six strikes started yesterday and are set to continue today over cuts to full-time pay and extended shift patterns — and bosses responded by banning strikers from the firm’s Christmas party last night.

The Barbour factory at Gateshead, which manufactures Barbour jackets, employs 64 full-time workers as well as temporary staff.

The full-timers, who are members of union Unite, say management is axing unsocial hours payments and extending shifts until 11 pm.

The changes are designed to put them on similar terms to temps and showed “a total disregard of the impact the changes will have on workers with caring responsibilities,” a representative said.

Unite accused the company of “hypocrisy” as the firm’s mission statement says it’s based on “respect and family values.”

Unite regional officer Fazia Hussain-Brown said: “The spiteful behaviour of Barbour to ban workers taking industrial action from their Christmas party sums the company’s attitude up.

“Staff have worked hard to make the Barbour brand a global success and feel betrayed by the attacks on terms and conditions which are designed to squeeze out yet more profit.

“They are actions that Scrooge would be proud of and show a total disregard for people with caring responsibilities. Barbour needs to enter the Christmas spirit and negotiate a fair deal for its workforce.”

Strikes will run from from 7.30am to 1pm today, Monday and Tuesday, with more scheduled for January 5-6.