Codnor workers win pay rise and assurances over alleged bullying

The Forbo Flooring Systems factory in Codnor, Ripley.
The Forbo Flooring Systems factory in Codnor, Ripley.

Striking workers at a Codnor company are enjoying a happy Christmas after winning a pay rise and assurances over bullying.

Backed by the Unite union, more than 70 production employees at Forbo Flooring Systems started industrial action in the middle of October October.

A series of 48-hour strikes was launched after seven months of fruitless negotiations with the firm’s Swiss-based bosses.

The workers wanted a new pay settlement and were also concerned about “a culture of bullying and harassment” that the union said was present within the company.

The strikes were called off when, just before the Christmas break, Forbo announced that workers will receive an above-inflation increase of 2.2 per cent on basic pay and bonus in the first year.

There will also be a rise in their skills payment, a one-off extra two days’’ holiday over Christmas and a 2.1 per cent pay increase in the second year.

Senior management have agreed as well to run a ‘cultural-change programme’ to address the harassment concerns.

Cheryl Pidgeon, Unite’s regional officer, said: “This workplace will never be the same again thanks to the collective action of our brave members. Hopefully, it will now go from strength to strength.

“The strike was more about dignity and respect for everyone at Forbo. Our members could not stand by and watch their colleagues be treated in a disrespectful and bullying manner. I am glad they stood up and made their voices heard.

“The strength and solidarity that the workers showed during their dispute has also led to management agreeing to support the union in the workplace by providing fully equipped trade union facilities for the reps on site to use.

“Unite membership at Forbo grew during the industrial action and continues to grow, so these facilities are very welcome and will be put to good use.

“We look forward to continued constructive discussions with management at Forbo for the benefit of our members.”

Forbo Flooring, based on High Holborn Road, is a long-established business that is a leading global player in high-quality, commercial floor coverings.