SP Graham Ltd workers overwhelmingly rejected a management pay offer and plans for a strike remains set for Tuesday and Friday.
Strike action will take at SP Graham Ltd outlets across Northern Ireland during Cheltenham festival including the three outlets in lurgan and three in Portadown.
Davy McMurray, Unite officer confirmed his union’s members overwhelmingly rejected (voting with a majority of 88%) a management pay offer which would leave them earning just nine pence more than the bare legal minimum:
“As previously agreed, we convened a meeting of our members to consider the final pay offer made by S.P. Graham Ltd at the Labour Relations Agency.
“At a very well attended meeting, with considerably more than half our members present, workers voted with a majority of 88% to reject the management pay offer. Strike action set for Tuesday and Friday will now proceed.
“The management offer would have left workers earning only nine pence per hour more than the lowest wage legally payable after April of this year.
“Our demand for SP Graham to become a Living Wage employer has been very positively received by the public. Our members have been buoyed by the support received from regular punters who say they will be boycotting the company in support of the staff. We are receiving membership applications from SP Graham Ltd offices across the whole of Ireland, north and south, reflecting the strength of feeling among staff over the issue of poverty pay.
“As a whole, the bookmaking industry is a multi-million pound sector whose huge profits are sustained by the efforts of workers expected to live on rock bottom wages. Our members in SP Graham Ltd are showing how, by standing together, workers can force employers to pay a Living Wage for all.
“Even at this late stage it is not too late for management to avert strike action, we call on SP Graham Ltd to commit to becoming a fully-accredited Living Wage employer”, Mr McMurray concluded.