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The dispute at DSM’s Dalry plant is over the failure by Kaefer and Altrad Babcock to pay a local bonus to engineering construction workers who operate under the National Agreement for Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI) across the UK.
The workers, members of the Unite union, are demanding a local bonus under the terms of the NAECI agreement in recognition of flexibility and work being undertaken to assist with the delivery of a new manufacturing plant.
Unite members across Scotland are also involved in local disputes over bonus payments involving NAECI workers at industrial plants in Grangemouth, Torness and Mossmorran.
In Dalry, Altrad and Kaefer, along with factory owner DSM, have refused to enter negotiations over bonus payments, Unite says.
DSM has a new plant under construction in Dalry alongside its existing one. It is being built for the manufacture of a proprietary cow food additive called Bovaer, which is said to reduce intestinal methane emissions from cattle.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite’s members were classed as essential workers throughout the pandemic, and they contributed to keeping the Dalry plant running on a daily basis. This has helped to generate huge profits for the parent group Royal DSM.
“Unite’s members are determined to fight for what they deserve especially when they see other workers receiving local bonuses at similar plants across the UK. We will support our members all the way in their fight for better jobs, pay and conditions.”
Unite industrial officer Siobhan McCready added: “Unite’s members working for Altrad and Kaefer are angry at being denied a local bonus. DSM is also in the process of building a new plant in Dalry worth an estimated £100m, and the workers have shown incredible flexibility and regularly turn out at short notice. The workers feel completely ignored by management who have refused to engage with us, so our members feel they have no choice but to take a stand.”