Workers at pharmaceutical giant GSK in Barnard Castle have walked out in a dispute over pay.

Hundreds of workers across the company's UK sites are staging a series of walkouts throughout this month.

The 750 workers who are members of Unite voted for strike action having rejected the company’s pay offer of a six per cent pay increase and a one-off lump sum of £1,300. Unite described this as 'a substantial real terms pay cut with the current true inflation rate (RPI) standing at 13.5 per cent'.


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Strike action will be spread throughout May with workers at all six sites Barnard Castle, Irvine, Montrose, Ware, Worthing and Ulverston striking on different dates at different times to maximise the effectiveness of the action. 

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This is an incredibly wealthy company that can fully afford to pay its workers a fair pay offer. This is a classic example of a company seeking to further boost its profits at the expense of its workers."

The Northern Echo: GSK at Barnard CastleGSK at Barnard Castle (Image: Unite)

Unite national officer Tony Devlin said: “Strike action will inevitably result in widespread disruption across GSK’s operations, but the company has brought this dispute on itself. It has had every opportunity to make a pay offer which meets member expectations, but it has failed to do so.

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“GSK has effectively stuck two fingers up to its workforce by walking away from the pay negotiations.”

But a GSK spokesperson said: “We recognise that for many of our people, this past year has seen their cost of living rise rapidly and believe the offer we have made to our UK manufacturing colleagues covered by collective bargaining agreements is fair and reasonable.

"We are therefore disappointed that the Unite union has chosen to undertake this industrial action, despite receiving a final offer which includes a 6% increase on base pay, shift pay and allowances, plus a discretionary one-time payment of £1,300 – an overall package equivalent to a 9.7% increase.”