Workers at Peterborough's Whirlpool to be balloted on strike action in a dispute over pay

Union angry at ‘insulting’ 2.5 per cent offer to staff

By Paul Grinnell
Monday, 25th April 2022, 1:00 pm

Workers at Peterborough-based white goods maker Whirlpool UK Appliances are to vote on strike action in a dispute over pay.

Officials of the Unite union say the ballot of its members will take place over the next three weeks and follows a 2.5 per cent pay increase offer by bosses.

They say if staff vote in favour of strike action it could hamper Whirlpool’s repair, installation and maintenance of household appliances across the UK.

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The Peterborough offices of white goods maker Whirlpool UK Applances where staff are balloted over strike action in a dispute over pay.

They say the offer for the pay year beginning January 1, 2022 is ‘insulting’ as it comes as the RPI rate of inflation hits nine per cent inflation and company profits rose 250 per cent to £12,040,000 in 2020.

Whirlpool makes and distributes a range of kitchen and laundry appliances under the brands including Hotpoint, Indesit and Whirlpool, and employs about 1,200 people at its premises in Morley Way.

Unite members deliver, install and repair domestic appliances across the UK, from depots at various locations but with all of the work managed through the contact centre in Peterborough.

Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said: “Whirlpool’s pay offer is a pay cut.

"This is totally inexcusable from a business whose profits have rocketed by 250 per cent.

“Our members’ hard work generated Whirlpool’s vast profits so it is only right that they get their fair share of the pie. Whirlpool needs to think again and return with a more acceptable offer or face strike action.”

Unite national officer Linda McCulloch said: “Our members are furious that their hard work has been met with this insulting pay offer.

“If the ballot result is for strike action, it will be mean the repairs, installation and maintenance of tens of thousands of household goods will be thrown into a spin, causing severe inconvenience to customers.”

The union is angry that the company, which outlined its focus on growth as the UK began to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, has enjoyed rising profits which in 2020 rose from £4,808,000 in 2019 to £12,040,000 in 2020.

Whirlpool has been approached for a response.

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