WORKERS at a leading crane manufacturer in Sunderland will be starting a series of strikes tonight in a dispute over an ‘inadequate’ pay offer.

The workforce at the Liebherr Sunderland Works will strike from 8pm tonight until midnight tomorrow.

Unite members will stage an official picket line at the site tomorrow.

The action follows talks with the company yesterday which broke down after the management made a revised offer that was worse than the original package the workforce had turned down.

Unite, the country’s largest union which represents 30 skilled crane assemblers, will be co-ordinating the industrial action with the GMB union which also has members at the Deptford Terrace site.

Unite regional officer Mark Sanderson said: “We are in a bizarre situation that the company made a new inadequate offer yesterday which would have left our members worse off than the original proposals that they unanimously rejected.

“There is no logic in the management’s provocative decision which now means that a total of ten days of strike action is planned.

We urge the company to enter into constructive talks before this dispute escalates further in the autumn.”

The company’s original offer was three per cent, a £150 lump sum and an extra day off over the Christmas period for the year starting January 2018.

The new offer is 3.2 per cent with Monday December 24, 2018, off with pay as an additional holiday or, alternatively, 3.3 per cent.

No-one was available Liebherr Sunderland Works when contacted by The Northern Echo for comment on the strike action.