British heritage label Barbour had managed to put an end to its employee strike at its Gateshead wares in Northern England, after negotiating changes concerning staff working contracts on Tuesday.

Following discussions carried out at the conciliation service Acas, employees have agreed to accept Barbour's launch of a two-shift system at the warehouse, which according to the wax jacket producer, is necessary to “maximize the warehouse facility,” and to keep up with the label's growth. The Unite trade union, whose members had been striking, added that the new deal included a "substantial increase in pay" as well as flexible day working hours for employees with family and care obligations.

The new working shifts now run from 7:00 to 15:00 and 14:30 to 22:30. "The industrial action has been difficult for everyone as we have historically enjoyed very good relations with our staff," commented Brenda Readman-Bell, finance and IT director at Barbour. "It is essential we have the flexibility to manage the business to the good of our entire workforce and the acceptance of the new deal is indicative of the company's determination to be fair in order to achieve this satisfactory outcome for all."

The strike first began January 5, and saw 70 Unite union members striking from 7:30 am to 1 pm, Monday to Friday, in protest to the new requirements introduced by Barbour which removed unsocial hours payment and added working hours until 11 pm on alternate weeks. Staff are set to return to work on Wednesday.


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