A threat of disruption to Olympic shooting competitions has been lifted after workers at an historic Birmingham arms supplier accepted an improved pay deal.
The Birmingham Post reported last month that Minworth-based Eley had been facing the first industrial action from its employees since the mid-1970s in a row over a two per cent pay offer which had threatened cartridge supplies to Olympic 2012 shooting contestants.
The two per cent offer followed a previous wage freeze and a one per cent deal at the firm, which has chalked up annual profits of £4 million over each of the last two years.
Unite regional official John Walsh said: “We now have a revised deal which has been accepted by our members. We have moved from the original package with an increase to the rate and to the bonus which will give us 3.5 per cent.
“I am pleased that the company has seen common sense and that our members will receive a fair share. A £4 million profit in a year at a company with no more than 100 employees on one site is a good result.
“There will also be a lump sum retrospective payment – the Olympics can proceed without hindrance.” Eley workers voted by 40 to 31 to accept the new offer.
The firm, which shipped ammunition to the rebel Confederate troops in the American Civil War in the 1860s, supplies an array of names from the shooting world, including Britons Jonathan Hammond, Neil Stirton and Ken Parr.
The threat of industrial action came against a backdrop of wider fears that strikes would be targeted to impact on the 2012 Games.
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey had threatened that strike action during the Olympics would achieve maximum disruption, and was roundly condemned by Downing Street and the Labour Party.