Page last updated at 12:07 GMT, Sunday, 5 October 2008 13:07 UK

Ladbrokes staff strike over pay

Ladbrokes sign
Usdaw said staff were furious at the pay offer

Staff at a Ladbrokes betting call centre on Merseyside are staging a 24-hour walkout in a row over pay.

The union Usdaw said hundreds of workers at the site in Aintree were set to strike from 0500 BST on Sunday.

It said staff were unhappy after being offered what it said was a below-inflation pay rise of 3%.

A spokesman for Ladbrokes, which also has a call centre in London, said the strike action had had "absolutely no impact on services".

He said those who walked out were "a small minority".

"We have two call centres, one in London and one in Liverpool, so it has had absolutely no impact on services whatsoever," he said.

Everything hinges on the company's willingness to make an improved offer
Michelle Owens from Usdaw

"It is essential that our costs remain competitive. I think we have made a fair offer but we remain open to negotiations from the union."

It is the second time staff have gone on strike over the matter - they also walked out in August.

Usdaw's area organiser Michelle Owens said: "Staff on site are furious the company has not increased its 3% pay offer at a time when inflation is nearer 5%.

"Despite meetings with senior management and Acas the company have refused to improve the offer.

"Our members are struggling to cope with higher fuel and food bills and deserve better from the company."

She added: "While we are keen to resolve this dispute, everything hinges on the company's willingness to make an improved offer."


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