WORKERS at a 77-year-old North-East glass maker have gone on strike over pay.
Unite the union says the firm has offered a three-year deal, including a three per cent rise and two yearly increases of two per cent.
Officials have branded the deal insulting, claiming it features policies to make the offer self-funding.
The union also alleges the Gateshead firm, which made glass for the Second World War effort, gave its highest paid director a 14 per cent pay rise last year.
Tyneside Safety Glass made profits of £609,899 in its last financial results for April 30 2013.
The company, based in two factories on Team Valley Industrial Estate, makes laminated and toughened glass for bus windows and windscreens.
It also produces bullet-proof glass for armed forces vehicles and glass for construction and agricultural machinery and the emergency services.
Fazia Hussain-Brown, Unite regional officer, said it wanted management to carry out further negotiations.
She said: “Our members rejected the paltry and insulting strings attached deal by more than 90 per cent as the company was giving with one hand and taking with the other.
“Our hardworking members and their families are faced with the continuing cost of living crisis, with household bills going through the roof and they deserve a more generous pay deal.
“Tyneside Safety Glass claims it has no money for a pay rise for its employees, but it seems to have plenty of cash to give to one of its directors.
“The management’s plea of poverty does not ring true.
“That’s why we are urging them to get around the table urgently to negotiate a fair and equable settlement, so our members can continue to contribute to the prosperity of the company.”
Trevor Storey, Tyneside Safety Glass' finance director told The Northern Echo: "We made a series of offers, all of which were rejected.
"We believe the demands are unrealistic and will continue trading through this period and see what becomes of the workers' action."
According to the company’s last results, it said directors were cautiously optimistic for the future after consistent trading, adding they voted against a dividend.
The firm was founded by Jack Davis in September 1937, originally making glass for the Second World War.
It later made ornamental glass products before moving into toughened and laminated glass.