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Union condemns West Berkshire tile factory sackings

Three GMB members have been sacked by Marley Tiles

GMB workers on strike at Newbury Retail Park in 2015.
GMB workers on strike at Newbury Retail Park in 2015.

A trade union has condemned the sacking of workers at the Marley Tiles plant in Beenham.

Strike action took place in December and the GMB accuses Marley of sacking three members over it.

It also claims that two other employees were given written warnings over their involvement.

These notices are said to have been served on February 23.

GMB regional organiser Nikki Dancey said: "The three dismissed workers have an incredible 101 years in employment at Marley Tiles, between them, far longer than many of the company’s senior management.

"Marley Tiles supplies household names such as Bovis Homes, Crest Nicholson and Jewsons.

"GMB urge these long-established companies not to allow the actions of Marley Tiles senior management to affect their reputations.

"GMB has balloted members about strike action in defence of the disciplined workers and is preparing the ground for employment tribunal claims to be made against the employer for discrimination on grounds of trade union activity.

"This was a lawful strike, undertaken after a stringent postal ballot, by workers engaged in keeping the building industry supplied with roof tiles.

"The work is dirty, noisy and potentially dangerous, and their pay offer was derisory.

"These workers deserve an apology from the company, not to be penalised for standing up for their rights.

"GMB will continue to seek justice for our members through the appeal process, by pursuing industrial action against the company, by taking action in the legal system and any other action GMB members feel appropriate."

The strike was over pay.

A spokesperson for Marley said: "We respect any employees’ right to participate in lawful industrial action and we have not, and would never take action against any member of staff for striking.

"Out of respect for confidentiality, we do not comment on issues relating to specific employees, but we can confirm that all matters are addressed in accordance with our disciplinary procedure.

"We continue in discussion to resolve a pay dispute at our Beenham site and we have put what we believe to be a fair offer on the table.

"The current offer is in line with pay agreements at our other six sites.

"We remain hopeful that we will reach an agreement shortly."

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