Workers may vote to extend strike action at Rugby's GE turbine factory

More than 75 workers at Rugby’s 120-year-old GE Steam turbine factory may vote to extend strike action, their union has warned.
The GE sign on Wood Street.The GE sign on Wood Street.
The GE sign on Wood Street.

Workers at the site manufacture industrial plant steam turbine equipment – some of which is the UK’s nuclear submarines.

Now, with the factory looking set to be sold to EDF, the union Unite is preparing to re-ballot its members at the factory over what they describe as attacks on pay.

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The initial round of strike action began on April 17 and is due to end on May 2 - with the next strike day on April 29.

As well as halting production, the strikes disrupt the site’s repair and refurbishment service for steam rotating equipment.

A spokesperson for Unite said General Electric is using outside consultancy firm Shape Associates – and this is what has caused further disagreement.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite will not stand for the efforts by GE Steam and Shape Associates to attack our members’ wages prior to the factory’s sale to EDF.

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“Our members are also furious at Shape Associates disgraceful attempt to split the workforce by disregarding the site’s agreement with Unite.

Unite regional officer Zoe Mayou said: “Since GE Steam Power bought the factory 11 years ago, they have tried over and over again to undermine our members’ pay and benefits despite the company’s operations being extremely lucrative.

“GE has hired Shape Associates to run the factory and to squeeze whatever else they can before the sale to EDF.

"While taking on GE’s dirty work, Shape has ignored Unite’s recognition agreement, a move that has backfired and only strengthened our members’ resolve.”

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