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GMB to launch strike ballot at Bakkavör Pizza, Harrow

By Elaine Watson , 14-Jul-2010
Last updated on 19-Jul-2010 at 23:26 GMT

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.

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