Warning of more industrial action at Sheffield factory as steelworkers’ strike ends
Workers on strike at Rom Ltd, Brightside Lane.
Steelworkers who walked out on strike amid claims their Sheffield factory bosses had denied them a pay rise for 10 years have returned to work today – but more industrial action is on the cards.
Nearly 20 employees went on strike two weeks ago at fabricators Rom Ltd, on Brightside Lane, which makes reinforcement steel for the construction industry.
It is understood Sheffield workers are pushing for a review of the current bonus system and an increase in their hourly pay rate.
The 18 staff who took part in the strike were all production workers on the factory floor. Steve McCool, national officer for the trade union Community, which is representing those involved, said members would still be observing an overtime ban, and working to rule.
The necessary 14 days’ notice of a further strike could also be served as early as this week. He repeated his earlier statement that workers were ‘in it for the long haul’.
“The strike went particularly well,” said Mr McCool. “The men are upbeat – a lot haven’t experienced this before. The reception from people in Sheffield has been absolutely excellent. People have been leaving food parcels, coffees and all sorts of things to help them in their efforts to get fair pay.”
The officer said he wanted talks with management, adding: “Nobody likes to see industrial action take place. But after 10 years of loyalty to the company members have said enough is enough.”
Rom Sheffield’s plant, which employs around 50 people, is part of a national operation – Rom Group – with 21 sites across the UK. Romtech, a subsidiary that sells pre-fabricated piles for buildings, is based at Brightside too and has its own additional staff.
Picket lines have been maintained for the past fortnight at the factory. “Other sites have had money put on the table,” said Mr McCool. Rom Sheffield manager David Carruthers previously said the walkout was ‘regrettable’, but vowed that production would continue without disruption.