Strike at coffin manufacturer enters second week

Workers at the Co-op’s only British coffin factory have entered their second week of strike action.

The facility at Bogmoor Place, Glasgow, has seen around 50 staff walk out after Unite members previously voted for strike action in August.

Workers rejected an offer from the company, which they described as a real-terms pay cut due to the high inflation rates.

The second week of strike action began on Monday and will continue until Monday November 21.

The ongoing strike action, which may continue into the Christmas and new year period if no agreement is made, could disrupt coffin supply.

Unite regional officer Willie Thomson said: “Our members remain resolute and determined as they begin a second week of strike action in pursuit of a fair wage deal at a time of the biggest cost-of-living crisis in decades.

“With no planned talks with the employer tabled, this dispute will continue risking significant coffin supply disruption at a time when seasonal mortality rates are highest.

“Unite expected more from an organisation that carries the Co-op brand name. A brand whose values are linked to caring for others, democracy and equity. They should look again at these principles and ask themselves are they still worthy because my members don’t think they are.

“It’s time for Co-op Funeralcare to step up and make a wage offer that does not leave their workers, our members, potentially accessing food banks.”

Co-op Funeralcare said in a statement: “Our colleagues at our Glasgow coffin factory are a hugely valued part of our Co-op and we have been in an ongoing dialogue with Unite as we strive to reach a sensible pay agreement.

“We remain open to discussions to try and reach an agreement and have informed Unite of this.

“In spite of the difficult trading environment, we have offered all of our colleagues at the coffin factory a fair pay increase. We are confident that the combined base pay and production bonus for roles within the coffin factory remain highly competitive.

“We are able to maintain a strong supply of coffins. In addition to our own factory, we work closely with a range of third party coffin suppliers and so we can offer full reassurance that the strike has no impact on our ability to support bereaved families.”