PRODUCTION workers at the Bridgwater's Trelleborg Sealing Solutions site, where productivity is said to have ‘gone through the roof’, are being balloted for strike action over what union representatives are describing as ‘paltry’ 2.8 per cent pay rise offer.

Trade union Unite said its 65 members were being balloted for strike action after they rejected a 2.8 per cent pay offer for the year starting January 2019.

The ballot closes on Wednesday, April 24.

The company, founded in 1935, makes specialist seals for high pressure engines.

Unite regional officer Tim Morris said: “What we have here is a situation where senior management has openly and frankly admitted that the productivity of the workforce has gone through the roof at the site.

“Yet this highly profitable company has offered a paltry 2.8 per cent pay rise for the current pay year.

“The company has failed to acknowledge the huge increases in housing costs across Somerset have meant an effective fall in earnings for our members.

“This has been compounded by the fact that previous pay increases have also failed to keep pace with inflation and wages have repeatedly fallen behind the ever rising cost of living.

“Our members have said: ‘Enough is enough’ – and we urge the bosses to seal a decent deal before the prospect of strike action becomes a stark reality.”

There is a total workforce of about 112 at the Dunball Industrial Estate site.

Trelleborg Sealing Solutions UK says it has been negotiating with union representatives for months now regarding a pay increase.

A company spokesman said: "We have conducted numerous rounds of discussions, including the use of the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service for the most recent ones.

"As a consequence the union are balloting for industrial action.

"Ballot papers have been issued but no results are available yet.

"We cannot comment further at this stage."

In February South Somerset District Council snapped up Units 1 and 2 at the Dunball Industrial Estate for £2.82m, the building which has been tenanted by Trelleborg Sealing Solutions since its construction in 1983.