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Wednesday 16th
posted by Conrad Landin in Britain

STEELWORKERS have won a £1,500 pay rise after battling against pay restraint for a decade.

General union GMB announced yesterday that its members at Rom Ltd, a small reinforcement bar manufacturer in Witham, central Essex, had secured a strong three-year deal.

The deal will see a new £500-a-year London weighting paid to the workers, backdated from July 1 this year — equivalent to a 2.5 per cent pay rise.

The weighting will be increased to £1,000 next year and £1,500 the year after.

Shop steward Gareth Davies said: “It had been a long struggle for fairness, but we are grateful to GMB for helping us get an acceptable outcome.”

Workers will also receive a one-off cash bonus of £250 in the first year. Bonuses will now be recalculated to be worth an extra 22p an hour until machinery at the works is upgraded.

The company is owned by transnational steel giant Celsa. Workers at other sites are in still in dispute with the company.

The workforce at Newport, where workers are members of the Community union, is currently balloting for industrial action — and a strike is already under way in Sheffield.

GMB regional organiser Michael Ainsley said: “Our members at this Celsa steel site will not be the only workers to have had to do increasing amounts of overtime and be creative with household budgets to make ends meet.

“We are pleased that the employer has finally recognised that the workers here deserve recognition for the major part they play in the business.”