UNION members marched on Barbour’s South Shields plant today as MP Stephen Hepburn met with the firm amid a bitter industrial dispute.
Workers walked out on a four-week strike on Monday over planned changes to their working hours, which would see them losing unsocial hours payments while having to work until 11pm.
Mr Hepburn met bosses at the clothing firm in a bid to begin a resolution process.
Meanwhile workers showed their might and aired their anger outside, with speeches from Unison regional organisers.
The company, which is based on the Simonside Industrial Estate, South Shields, says the new proposed shift pattern would be from 7am to 3pm, and 2.30pm to 10.30pm, and that the deal offers workers substantial pay rises.
The changes impact on workers at the firm’s warehouse in Wardley, Gateshead, The dispute involves 134 of the firm’s 600 North East workers.