Spalding Bakkavor workers voted to go on strike - which could impact on supermarket supplies
Staff at a Spalding factory have voted to go on strike in a dispute over wages.
Bakkavor workers are now preparing to walk out in a protest over the pay offer from Bakkavor Foods Ltd.
Unite the Union says workers are calling for an increase which recognises the contribution they have made to the company’s year on year increase in profits while Bakkavor says the deal is "competitive, above-inflation pay increase".
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Unite say the pay deal offered is 1.5 per cent while Bakkavor has said it has offered three per cent in year total package increase – representing a 1.5 per cent pay increase and 1.5 per cent lump sum.
A total of 494 people voted for strike action.
Bakkavor Foods Ltd is reported to have posted £105 million in pre-tax profits and has a turnover of £1.6 billion.
In October, Bakkavor launched a consultation has begun on the future of 250 jobs at the Bakkavor Salads factory.
Unite regional officer Mick Orpin said: “The UK’s leading supermarkets face the prospect of considerable disruption to the supply of popular products like hummus and taramasalata over the festive season.
“Bosses at Bakkavor have absolutely no justification for suppressing workers’ pay year on year when the company has increased its profits year on year.
“Between 2014 and 2018 Bakkavor’s profits have increased by a massive £40 million but management have lefthard-up workers with no choice except to take strike action to fight for their fair share.
“There is still time left to resolve this dispute and we hope management will get around the negotiating table with a view to reaching an agreement which recognises the workers’ contribution to the success of the business.”
The Spalding site, which is one of 25 across the UK, focuses on the production of dressed salads, soups, sauces and a selection of creamy dips. It says that no hummus is produced at this site.
A spokesperson for Bakkavor said: “We have been in ongoing, extensive dialogue with employees and the Unite Union regarding the 2019 pay proposal at Spalding. We believe the pay proposal we have put forward delivers a competitive, above-inflation pay increase for all colleagues.
“Under 30 per cent of all colleagues at the site voted in favour of strike action, and as such we are disappointed that our proposal has been rejected and that a ballot for strike action has been passed.
“As a business, we have detailed contingency plans in place to ensure that we continue to serve our customers and that any disruption is kept to a minimum.
“We would encourage the Union to engage with us to ensure this issue is resolved swiftly in the interests of all employees.”
More by this authorVictoria Fear