hartleys jam

‘Come clean’ call to Cambridgeshire jam maker over sale speculation

The Hain Daniels Group, owners of the jam makers at Histon, near Cambridge, should ‘come clean’ over its plans, as media speculation mounts about a possible sale to a private equity firm.

The call has come from Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union which represents about 300 workers at the Chivers Way site, as media reports say that talks are in motion for a sale to PAI Partners.

Unite is having a crunch meeting with the management at Histon on Thursday (10 October) to ask the firm ‘to come clean’ over sale plans and also to seek cast-iron guarantees that terms and conditions will be maintained if the company is sold.

The Cambridgeshire site, which dates back to 1873, produces such iconic brands as Hartley’s jam, Gales Honey, and the Robertson’s and Frank Cooper marmalades.

Unite regional officer Roger Dillion said: “There is a good deal of media speculation that the Hain Daniels Group could be sold to PAI Partners – and there is a great deal of concern from our members that their terms and conditions could be seriously eroded by such a take-over.

“The Histon management has already flagged up that it wants to get rid of redundancy payments beyond the statutory minimum; company sick pay; extra days of holiday; and payments for changes in shift patterns.

“It is clear that the bosses are intent on slimming down costs at the expense of our members in order to make it more financially attractive to a potential buyer.

“At our meeting on Thursday, we will be demanding that the company comes clean about its sale intentions and we will be seeking cast-iron assurances that our members’ terms and conditions, in some cases stretching back between 25 to 30 years, will be maintained if there is a new owner.”  

The company’s website says: “Histon, in Cambridgeshire, is our largest manufacturing site, and from here, we manufacture a number of the UK’s favourite jams, marmalades, jellies, honey, mincemeat, fruit fillings & fruit ingredients.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

The Hain Daniels Group has sites across the UK, but Histon is the only one where Unite is recognised for trade union collective bargaining purposes.

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065
Email: shaun.noble@unitetheunion.org
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: unitetheunion.org 

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.

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