Sunrise Medical imageTrade union members at Sunrise Medical’s wheelchair factory in the West Midlands are voting for strike action in a dispute over pay.

The trade union Unite has warned of impending industrial action if the ballot of workers at Sunrise Medical in Dudley is in favour of striking.

According to Unite, the workers have worked hard in recent years to support Sunrise Medical through major organisational change, the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit.

They are seeking at least a three per cent increase in pay and an additional day of holiday for Christmas Eve.

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Due to the management’s unsatisfactory response and a breakdown in the pay talks Unite says that workers feel they have no option but to ballot for industrial action.

Ballot papers have been sent out from and the ballot will close on Thursday 27 May. If members vote for industrial action, strikes could begin next month.

Sunrise Medical have been contacted by THIIS over the union’s claims but said that it did not wish to comment.

Unite Regional Officer Su Lowe said: “The workforce at Sunrise Medical have repeatedly gone the extra mile to ensure that the company is a success.

“However, despite their dedication and commitment, even the loss of a colleague to COVID, management has failed to support their aspirations for a pay rise.

“As a result members of Unite at Sunrise Medical believe they have been left with no option but to ballot for industrial action.

“If strike action does occur it will inevitably cause serious disruption to the supply of electric wheelchairs and will cause concern to the company’s customers.

“Unite believes that this dispute can still be resolved via negotiation but in order to do so Sunrise Medical needs to make a realistic pay offer. The door is open, we just need the company to step up.”

Founded in 1983, Sunrise Medical was originally based in Wollaston, Northamptonshire. Now operating in 18 countries, with headquarters in Malsch, Germany, it is one of the largest suppliers in the mobility market.

The manufacturer employs over 2,200 associates worldwide and distributes to more than 130 countries under its brands, which include Quickie, Sopur, Jay, Zippie, Breezy, Sterling and Coopers.

Last year, Sunrise completed the acquisition of two global paediatric brands, Leckey and Firefly, following the purchase of Northern Irish manufacturer and distributor James Leckey Design.

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