Doncaster furniture chain DFS braced for protest by makers of infamous James Bond villain chair

Blofeld with his cat in his G Plan chair in the 1967 film You Only Live Twice.
Blofeld with his cat in his G Plan chair in the 1967 film You Only Live Twice.

A Doncaster-based nationwide furniture giant is based for a protest later this month - by workers from a factory where an infamous James Bond villain's chair was made.

Members of the GMB Union will be protesting outside one of the Carcroft-based firm's stores in a protest against what it says are "unworkable and anti-social" shift patterns being imposed on workers at furniture makers G Plan.

The firm was responsible for making the chair used by Bond villan Blofeld in the 1967 movie You Only Live Twice, where the character, played by Donald Pleasance, was famously seen stroking his white cat.

GMB, the union for workers at the G Plan factory in Melksham, Wiltshire will be protesting outside the DFS furniture store in Swindon, at 1pm on March 15.

The move comes after the union says 89% of its workers rejected the new shift proposals.

GMB says work at the Melksham factory is organised on a two shift basis, a day shift and a night shift. The company has proposed making all workers rotate between the two shifts, meaning the current night shift workers will lose money, and the current day shift will be forced onto a shift pattern that for many of them doesn’t fit in with their family and childcare responsibilities.

Carole Vallelly, GMB regional officer, said: "Our members are not campaigning for more money, they are campaigning to prevent the management imposing on them a shift pattern that simply doesn’t work.

"Many of our members who have loyally worked for G Plan for several years feel they are being forced out of their jobs, because they simply will not be able to work the proposed new shift patterns.

Doncaster-based DFS was born in the town in 1969 when local entrepreneur Graham Kirkham began making and selling furniture from above a snooker hall in Carcoft.

Originally called Northern Upholstery, the firm became DFS and the firm now has stores across the country.