Well strike a light - BAT staff to down tools

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The manufacturing and technical trade union Amicus has said that more than 400 workers at British American Tobacco's factory in Southampton will strike this week, to demand a bigger pay rise.

Today, union members rejected a 2.6% pay offer, and demanded 3%.

In a statement Amicus National Officer John Allot said, "BAT have announced massive profits while refusing to pay our members fairly. It is now very likely that BAT's stubborn approach will result in a 24 hour shutdown of their Southampton site. The union is preparing for rolling strikes every Wednesday until its members' demands are met.

BAT said in a statement, "We are very disappointed at this decision. The company has put forward a pay offer that it believes is very reasonable in light of competitive pressures faced not only by us, but by the whole European business."

It said its revised offer guarantees a minimum earnings rise of 5.6% over two years.

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