THE threat of strike action at the multinational pharmaceutical company GSK's Barnard Castle plant has been averted after members of the union Unite accepted an improved pay offer.

For the first time in the company’s history, over 1,000 workers nationwide, including engineers, technicians, laboratory analysts, warehouse workers, firefighters and labourers had voted for strike action.

Following an overwhelming yes vote for industrial action, fresh negotiations were held and an improved offer worth on average 10.5 per cent for each worker was made, which members accepted.

Read more: Union strike threat after pay row at GSK's Barnard Castle factory

The union said the revised offer was a substantial improvement on the 2.75 per cent that workers had originally been offered.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “By voting for strike action, standing together, with their union firmly on their side, our members and reps have secured a greatly improved pay increase at GSK.

“This is further proof that Unite’s commitment to prioritising jobs, pay and conditions is delivering significant benefits for members.”

Unite national officer Tony Devlin said: “This was an unprecedented dispute at GSK and it would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of our reps.

“Unite will be using this settlement as a stepping stone to ensure that in all future pay settlements GSK properly rewards its workforce.”

The dispute involved Unite’s members at the following sites: Montrose and Irvine in Scotland; Ware in Hertfordshire; Worthing in West Sussex; Barnard Castle in Durham; and Ulverston in Cumbria.

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