Self-employed Bolton plumber Dave North has today announced further strikes in an ongoing and increasingly bitter row with himself over pay and benefits.
The row first started back in October when Dave was working on his tax return and noticed that he had earned significantly less than in the previous year.
“I immediately called an urgent meeting with myself to demand to know why I’d had a pay cut forced on me when I was doing the exact same job as the previous year. I tried to give myself some rubbish about extra competition in the local area making the market more competitive, driving prices down and making plumbing jobs harder to come by, but I wasn’t buying that. I demanded to have my pay restored to the previous year’s level but I claimed that wasn’t possible. We were going nowhere with negotiations so I had no choice but to ballot myself over the possibility of taking strike action.”
After the ballot of Dave resulted in a landslide 100% vote in favour of strike action the first 2 day strike took place over the weekend of the 6th and 7th November. There was no break in the deadlock and despite attempts by Dave to negotiate with himself a further 2 day strike took place in early December, followed by a 5 day strike over the Christmas period. This brought Dave back to the table to attempt to broker a deal with himself.
“The 5 day strike seemed to get my attention and convince me that I meant business and wasn’t going to just let this drop and allow myself to be bullied by myself. Over the course of a couple of days of intense negotiations I managed to reach a deal with myself whereby I would keep all the profit that I made after costs, tax and national insurance.”
With the pay dispute resolved the latest round of strikes is understood to be over Dave’s refusal to re-instate a benefit, withdrawn in response to the first round of strikes, whereby Dave would perform plumbing work on his own home free of charge and the homes of his friends and family in exchange for a couple of pints of Old Speckled Hen.
With both sides refusing to back down there is still no end in sight.