'Strike will not stop production', vows Sheffield steel firm

Workers on strike at Rom Ltd, Brightside Lane. Picture by Andrew Roe
Workers on strike at Rom Ltd, Brightside Lane. Picture by Andrew Roe

A Sheffield steel company has vowed to continue production while workers take strike action amid claims they have been denied a pay rise for a decade.

Nearly 20 employees have walked out at fabricators Rom Ltd, on Brightside Lane, after a two-week stoppage was called, and picket lines have been maintained at the site all week.

The company makes reinforcement steel for the construction industry, and the 18 staff taking part in the strike are all production workers on the factory floor.

But manager David Carruthers said the walkout would not disrupt the Brightside plant's operations.

"It is regrettable that some members of our workforce have decided to take strike action," he said.

"Production at our Sheffield site will continue. We can reassure customers that we will continue to satisfy their requirements."

The Sheffield factory, which employs around 50 people, is part of a national operation - Rom Group - with 21 sites across the UK. Romtech, a subsidiary that sells pre-fabricated piles for buildings, is based there too and has its own additional staff.

Steve McCool, national officer for the trade union Community, which is representing those involved, previously said: "Workers at Sheffield Rom have not had a pay rise for 10 years. They've got to a point where enough is enough."

He said the firm had tabled pay offers elsewhere, including a five per cent wage increase over three years in Newport, Wales, and that 'all procedures had been exhausted' before the strike began.

The walkout is set to last until the end of next week - however, Mr McCool said: "We will be in this for the long haul until management see sense."

It is understood Sheffield workers are pushing for a review of the current bonus system and an increase in their hourly pay rate.