Wickle council is to broker negotiations this week in a bid to end the pay dispute between sea-shell collectors’ unions and the novelty knick-knack industry, amid reports of picket line violence.
Hundreds of collectors walked out 38 days ago, resulting in fears that shops may run out of model sea-shell animals with googly eyes. The Sea-Shell Collectors union NSSCG (National Sea-Shell Collectors’ Guild) boss Terry Javellin will be representing workers at the meeting set take place this Thursday. ‘All my members want is a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work,’ said Mr Javellin. ‘When compared to workers in comparable jobs, such as toffee apple dunking, our wages have fallen 3% in real terms over the last five years. You can’t support a family on what my lads are taking home.’
Wickle mayor Len Beggs will be chairing the negotiations. ‘Listen, nobody wants there to be a shortage of sea-shell encrusted picture frames,’ commented the Mayor. ‘But the unions have to be realistic. Central and local government subsidised the industry to the tune of £20,000,000 last year. It’s just not a sustainable position.’
All parties say they are hoping to avoid a repeat of the ugly scenes at the start of the walkout that saw two Police officers slashed with razor clam shells. ‘Nobody wants violence,’ concluded Mr Javellin. ‘However, if the fat cats of “Big Craft” think we’re going to roll-over like the miners did, they’ve got another thing coming.’