Striking Sheffield steel workers 'denied pay rise for a decade'

Workers strike outside Rom Ltd. Picture by Andrew Roe
Workers strike outside Rom Ltd. Picture by Andrew Roe

Staff have gone on strike at a Sheffield steel factory amid claims workers there have gone without a pay rise for 10 years.

Nearly 20 employees have walked out at fabricators Rom Ltd, on Brightside Lane, after a two-week stoppage was called.

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.

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

The Sheffield plant, 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 at Brightside too and has its own additional staff.

Picket lines were being maintained today at the factory.

Mr McCool said the firm had tabled pay offers elsewhere, including a five per cent wage increase over three years in Newport, Wales.

"They haven't even had an offer of any description at the Sheffield site," he added.

"The management have shown complete contempt for us."

The union officer said '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. We have said the door is always open, but at this point in time management won't engage with us."

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

Mr McCool said staff had shown patience during 'lean times' in recent years. "We're now asking them to invest in their biggest asset, their workers."

Rom Ltd declined to comment.