Strikes by Unite union members at an engineering and manufacturing firm in East Lancashire have been suspended after the employer put forward a new offer.

Industrial action by 80 engineers at ELE Advanced Technologies in Nelson began on Wednesday, May 1, after the company had initially offered a real terms pay cut to workers.

Members will now be balloted on Thursday, May 2, and Friday, May 3. As a result, strikes have been suspended.

Unite regional officer, Ross Quinn, said: "Following this improved offer we have paused industrial action as a gesture of goodwill.

"Over the coming days we will be balloting our members on the offer."

David Stanley, CEO of ELE Advanced Technologies, said: "Whilst it is disappointing that strike action took place today (May 1), we are pleased that the action has now been suspended following positive talks over a revised two-year pay offer. We have worked closely with the union representatives on this deal and are hopeful that it will be accepted by our employees.

"Throughout this process we have always been supportive of a pay deal that's fair and reflective of the key skills of our colleagues. At the same time, we are committed to ensuring the business is able to remain competitive and meet increased costs - following significant capital investment in a new manufacturing facility and advanced technologies.

"The leadership team at ELE Advanced Technologies greatly appreciate the skills and dedication that our employees bring to ELE and its customers and partners, and remain fully committed to recognising their valuable contribution."

Some workers at the firm based in Lomeshaye Industrial Estate voted overwhelmingly for strike action after failing to reach a pay agreement.

In April, a spokesperson for the company said it is "committed to finding a mutually acceptable solution."

Unite said the company had offered the workers a £1,000 pay increase (worth approximately four per cent) from May 2023 and five per cent from May 2024.

According to Unite, this amounts to a 'substantial real terms pay cut' when inflation is considered.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said this was a "prime example of a company manipulating financial data to try and suppress workers' wages."

ELE Advanced Technologies specialises in aerospace, industrial gas and commercial diesel engine sectors, and has worked with Rolls Royce and Siemens.