Industrial action at Bakkavör’s pizza plant in Harrow moved one step closer today as staff voted overwhelmingly in favour of rejecting the firm's latest pay offer and pledged to conduct a strike ballot.
The dispute has been rumbling on since last year when bosses proposed a pay freeze for 2009-2010 across all UK sites, according to the GMB union.
Members at Harrow were asking for a 2.5% increase in basic pay and minor increases to holiday and sick pay, GMB senior organiser Tony Warr told FoodManufacture.co.uk.
However, the management was only prepared to offer a lump sum of £50 and a much lower offer just covering 2010-2011, he claimed."Bakkavör Pizza is extremely profitable and what we were asking for was very reasonable. Our members voted 95% in favour of rejecting the offer, so we will now conduct a strike ballot."
The GMB has more than 400 members at Harrow out of a workforce of about 800, said Warr. "Our members are extremely angry and upset."
A Bakkavör spokesman told FoodManufacture.co.uk earlier this month: “In our view the offer we have made is a fair one in view of difficult trading conditions. We believe that given the current economic climate this is a good offer and the best which we are able to make.”
Bakkavör posted a 24.6% rise in earnings (before interest tax, depreciation and goodwill amortisation) to £135.1m on sales of £1.65bn in 2009.