WORKERS at a Great Harwood engineering company have called off strike action despite failing to come to an agreement with company bosses in a long-running dispute over pay.
Staff at the Alfred McAlpine Utility Services Depot in Heys Lane first walked out on an unofficial one-day strike in February, demanding an increase in their hourly pay.
Following the action, the workers, who were not represented by a union at the time, contacted the GMB, which entered into negotiations on their behalf.
The staff, who are members of the North West Gas Contract, which undertakes mains laying for Transco, say they have not had a pay rise in two years.
Company bosses have offered a non-contractual bonus scheme but the workers are demanding an increase in their hourly rate.
A series of one-day strikes were held last month but the remainder of the strikes, including one due to be held this week, have been cancelled and the workers will be continuing their fight through alternative means.
GMB Regional Officer Neil Holden said that the workers felt the strikes were no longer having the desired effect but made it clear that they would continue to campaign for a pay increase.
He added: "The company was bringing in sub-contracted labour. Some workers had been offered better places in other companies and were being replaced by sub-contractors. Stopping the strikes is a change of tack.
"The men are very upset with the company for not budging an inch and morale is low but the strikes were not having the effect they had in the early days. Our members still don't want the incentive scheme until they have a proper pay rise and they are still hoping for union recognition.
"It's not over, it's just the strike action that is over. They have gone back to work with their heads held high and they are now looking at other ways of going about it. We have given the company a chance to contact us but it hasn't done anything."
The company was unavailable for comment.