LINCOLNSHIRE, England—Source: The Lincolnite by Daniel Jaines

Staff at Lincat in Lincoln are on strike over pay conditions once more, this time for a month. Employees from the commercial kitchen appliance manufacturer on Whisby Road in Lincoln previously walked out for a week at the start of September, demanding an inflation-matching rise of 9.7%.

However, after a subsequent offer, over 100 are now picketing from Monday, September 25, until Monday, October 23.

The Unite union said that low-paid workers rejected a split pay deal of 8%, comprising 5.5% from January to June this year, which would be backdated, and an additional 2.5% for the remainder of the year. They further mentioned that higher-paid workers had been offered tiered pay rises, none of which reached 8%. The deals presented to all workers effectively resulted in pay cuts when considering the true rate of inflation, RPI, which stands at 9.1%, the union claimed.

Unite highlighted that Lincat’s skilled workforce has endured years of diminishing wage value. The hourly wage, which for most is £12.03 ($12.72), was once significantly above the minimum wage, but over the years, this gap has steadily decreased.

According to its most recent financial reports, Lincat posted operating profits of £8.9 million for the year ending January 2022. The company is a subsidiary of the US-based Middleby Corporation, which reported revenues exceeding $1 billion in Q2 2023.

Lincat produces a diverse range of commercial kitchen appliances. The staff undertakes various roles, including welding, press brake operations, assembly, and safety testing. This strike will cause significant disruptions to the factory, potentially delaying deliveries to pubs, restaurants, and canteens.