Supermarkets face disruption as food workers vote for strike action
- Thursday 14 November 2019
Bakkavor workers preparing popular meals for leading supermarkets have voted for strike action in a dispute over low pay at a time when the food manufacturer is raking in tens of millions in profit.
Workers are now preparing to walk out in protest over a paltry 1.5 per cent pay offer when Bakkavor Foods Ltd has posted £105 million in pre-tax profits and has a turnover of £1.6 billion. 83 per cent of workers who took part in the ballot voted for strike action.
A strike could leave shelves at Tesco, Sainsbury’s, M&S and the Co-op empty of many popular meals including salad meals, wraps, soups and dips such as taramasalata and houmous which are especially popular during the festive season.
The site in Spalding employs well over 1,000 workers across four divisions: soups and sauces, dips, salads and distribution.
Workers at the site are calling for a substantial increase which recognises the contribution they have made to the company’s year on year increase in profits, a typical worker earns around £9.36 an hour.
Unite regional officer Mick Orpin said: “The UK’s leading supermarkets face the prospect of considerable disruption to the supply of popular products like houmous 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 has left hard-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.”
Unite is a union that campaigns for and delivers better pay and conditions for its members. Unite is winning at work based on three core values. Secure Work: fighting for jobs and job security, Strong Voice: a union which is a respected voice at work and Decent Pay: a union focused on pay and conditions.
For more information contact Ciaran Naidoo 07768 931 315
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.