On the picket, Kone Engineers strike, 20.4.15

On the picket, Kone Engineers strike, 20.4.15   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Kone engineers

Across the country around 300 engineering service workers, employed by the lift firm Kone, are holding regular Monday strikes. The dispute is about Kone’s intention to use unreliable “spy in the cab” tracking devices.

The Unite rep from Gateshead’s Team Valley Trading Estate explained that at the company’s request Unite met with Acas negotiators on 16 April in central London for mediation. However, there was nothing forthcoming from the talks.

He said: “We were prepared to talk through the night, with no time constraint imposed by Unite.” However, there was disappointment as Kone brought nothing new to the table and left without a resolution.

Strikers were clearly disappointed that the company walked away from the negotiations, given that Kone approached Acas in the first place. When Kone left the talks it didn’t even have the courtesy to tell Unite. Acas had to let the union know they’d gone.

Talking to the strikers at Gateshead’s Kone factory unit, it was clear that the company’s action has galvanised the mood on the picket line, and strikers are reviewing how to proceed.

The other main Kone sites are at: Chertsey, Glasgow, Keighley and Warrington.

Elaine Brunskill