PRODUCTION workers at a North-East factory manned a picket line last night for the first strike in the company's history.

The strike, at Schott Industrial Glass, in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, began as the 10pm shift was due to clock on.

About 200 members of the Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU) - the vast majority of the workforce - voted to strike following a dispute over pay and conditions.

It is the first strike at the site since the German-owned company, which produces glass for the domestic goods industry, came to Newton Aycliffe 24 years ago.

Strikers said they would be back at the gates at 6am this morning. The strike is due to last until 10pm on Monday.

Negotiations between workers and management have been taking place since September last year.

Workers decided to take action when a meeting with conciliation service Acas on Monday failed to break the deadlock.