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GSK Workers Vote To Strike Over Pay Dispute

Hundreds of GlaxoSmithKline workers have voted to strike against the drugmaker's pay raise being well below the rate of inflation, British labour union Unite said on Wednesday.

Unite said 86% of its about 700 GSK members voted yes, giving the British company a 48-hour window to improve its pay offer before the strike action is announced.

This is the first time Unite's GSK members have voted for a strike, with the action coming while Britain faces the biggest squeeze on household incomes since at least the 1950s.

The country's inflation rate hit a 30-year high of 7% in March.

"We are disappointed that the Unite union has taken the decision to strike, but remain committed to working with them to find a solution," a GSK spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

Pay Rise 

Unite had rejected GSK's initial offer of a 2.75% pay rise, as well as an increase of 4%, saying it would have still been a pay cut in comparison with the current inflation rate.

"We have offered a 4% increase to base salary, in addition to a one-off award - equivalent to around 2% of base salary - as well as an annual bonus for 2021, which paid out above-target," GSK said.

The British drugmaker employs about 3,500 people at its UK pharma manufacturing sites and has a total of 13,000 employees in the UK.

Britain's biggest broadband and mobile operator BT also faces a possible industrial action over pay for its frontline workers.

News by Reuters, edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more A-brand news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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