Firm scraps consultation on new pay offer – as 97% of union members vote it down

Hubbard House, Civic Drive, Ipswich. Photo: Archant.

Hubbard House, Civic Drive, Ipswich. Photo: Archant. - Credit: Archant

Anglian Home Improvements has scrapped plans to reduce workers’ hours and pay following union pressure.

GMB union members from Anglian Windows gather in Norwich for a ballot count over proposed changes to

GMB union members from Anglian Windows gather in Norwich for a ballot count over proposed changes to pay. Picture: Bethany Whymark - Credit: Archant

The firm had opened a staff consultation on plans to reduce employees' weekly hours from 48 to 44 - resulting in an 8.3% decrease in pay.

It employees 3,500 people in total and has a base at Hubbard House in Civic Drive, Ipswich.

GMB union, which represents more than 200 workers at the company, balloted its members over the offer and gave feedback to the company, saying staff were willing to fight and even undertake strike action if management tried to push the deal through without further negotiation.

MORE: 'Enough is enough!' - drive to combat street drinking in town centreAfter receiving feedback and notification of the impending ballot, Anglian Windows - trading as Anglian Home Improvements - announced on Wednesday, July 3, that it was stopping the consultation.

GMB union members from Anglian Windows gather in Norwich for a ballot count over proposed changes to

GMB union members from Anglian Windows gather in Norwich for a ballot count over proposed changes to pay. Picture: Bethany Whymark - Credit: Archant

But GMB went ahead with its indicative ballot and more than 70 members turned out to hear the result at a meeting in Norwich on Friday, with nearly all (97%) of those balloted rejecting the company's offer.

Keith Dixon, GMB regional organiser, said: "I am pleased on behalf of our GMB members that the company finally realised that they were close to an industrial dispute regarding the proposal.

"Possible strike action is something we all want to avoid and I feel we were heading at speed to this due to the company's refusal to negotiate and failure to consider the concerns of the workforce."

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He added: "I am proud that our members united to oppose this and any further attempt to reduce their pay and working hours."

Anglian Windows' plan to reduce its employees' hours was first revealed in late May.

The initial proposal would

have seen workers take an eight-hour cut, resulting in a 16% decrease in wages, alongside

the use of agency staff to take over the duties of in-house employees.

Following the decision to scrap the ballot the company said existing contracted hours and shifts would remain unchanged.

Last week Anglian Windows announced the appointment of former Norwich City FC boss Steve Stone as its new managing director.

Mr Stone's arrival comes after the appointment of a new executive chairman, Peter Mottershead.

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