PRODUCTION has been cut by a third at a Hampshire cable company following strike action in protest at a "paltry" pay offer.

Trade union Unite says that Prysmian Cables & Systems in Eastleigh has reduced the production target for this month from 1,200 to 800 tonnes.

Unite, which has 162 members at Prysmian, said the workers have rejected a two per cent pay offer for the year starting January 2018 which it says does not keep pace with inflation, which is currently running at 2.7 per cent.

Today workers are due to strike and stage a march from the Chickenhall Lane site at 10am to the bandstand in Eastleigh town centre for a rally addressed by Unite assistant general secretary for manufacturing Tony Burke.

This action follows 24-hour stoppages on September 26 and October 3.

Further strikes are planned for October 17 and 24. A work to rule, including an overtime ban, began on September 25.

Unite regional co-ordinating officer Debbie Watson said: “The industrial action by our members is starting to have a dramatic impact on production at the factory and we understand that the target figure has been severely cut by a third for the month of October - from 1,200 to 800 tonnes. The strikes are beginning to bite big time.

“The picture is becoming clearer that customers are being adversely affected as there will be delays in fulfilling their orders, which could have an impact on them reaching their own deadlines for project completions.

“More than ever, it is in the company’s interests to get around the table for meaningful talks on an improved offer – otherwise further strike action will be announced in the run-up to Christmas.

“The workers are very disappointed that the company, with its paltry two per cent offer, continues to be unwilling to acknowledge the hard work and commitment they have given to the company in the past year which has enabled orders to be delivered on time."

“They are also outraged at the company’s hypocrisy as another bargaining unit within the group was offered a package which would see a five per cent pay increase on average.”

Members voted by 83 per cent for strike action and by 96 per cent for industrial action, short of strike action.

Prysmian, who are Italian-owned, manufactures energy cables from low voltage to extremely high voltage for land applications.

A spokesman for the company at Eastleigh said it would not comment on the strike as it was an "internal matter".