PLANNED strikes by staff at clay mines in Cornwall have been called off after an improved pay deal was secured.

More than 400 Imerys staff had voted to strike over the refusal of the company to offer a pay rise that covered the whole of 2023.

Back in January, the union claimed that the company has “refused to put forward an acceptable offer” and was insisting workers will only receive backpay from April 2023 rather than January 2023.

This claim was then disputed by Imerys, which said it had actually offered an eight per cent year-on-year pay increase - six per cent from January 2023 and an additional two per cent offered from April 2023.

The issue has since been resolved without the need for industrial action and the workers will receive an eight per cent pay rise backdated to January 2023.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: "When workers stand together in a union, they win, as demonstrated here by our members at Imerys. Once again, Unite’s laser-like focus on defending and improving jobs, pay and conditions is putting money in the pockets of our members."

Unite regional officer Dave Smith said: "This result shows the power workers have in a union. Cornwall workers wanting better wages and working lives should join Unite and get their colleagues to join as well."

A spokesperson for Imerys in the UK said: “We would like to thank Unite for this swift decision and its support in recommending that members accept our latest offer of an eight per cent pay increase for 2023. 

“We are pleased to hear the results of the indicative ballot and look forward to focusing on growth for 2024. 

“Lastly, we’d like to thank all colleagues for their patience during this time of uncertainty.”