More than 200 workers at Fife Bosch factory walk out over pay

More than 200 workers at a Fife engineering plant will strike over a pay offer their union says will leave them £7,000 a year worse off.

Unite members at Bosch Rexroth in Glenrothes walked out on Tuesday over a 6% pay deal, which the union says is essentially a “significant” pay cut because of inflation.

Industrial action will last for a week until Tuesday July 12, and workers will down tools every Monday and Tuesday going forward.

They will also refuse to work overtime.

The union also claims the firm has refused to back-date a pay award to January 1 and reverse changes to shift patterns and allowances.

In a ballot, 74% of workers rejected the German engineering firm’s offer.

Bosch Rexroth, a subsidiary of Bosch, is in a “strong” financial position according to its 2021 annual report, showing sales of £5.4 billion last year, the union said.

Sharon Graham, general secretary of Unite, said: “Disgracefully, Bosch Rexroth is another employer that is coining it in yet is hell-bent on destroying wages.

Bosch Rexroth's premises in Glenrothes

“Bosch’s order books are bulging and the company is boasting of a very bright future, so there is no need whatsoever to make this Scottish workforce poorer.

“My message to Bosch’s management is to think again and come back to the table with an improved offer because Unite is determined to defend our members’ jobs, pay and conditions.”

Unite regional officer George Ramsay said: “These pay proposals will leave workers thousands of pounds out of pocket at a time when the cost-of-living crisis deepens.

“Not only is the 6% a pay cut as inflation hits 11.7 per cent, but to implement shift changes that will erode incomes further is quite simply an unacceptable way to treat these loyal workers.”

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