Icelandic giant Bakkavör began a 90-day consultation on the controversial plans affecting hourly-paid workers on April 7.
It wanted to cut hourly rates for workers in the lower of its five pay bands, while raising the rate for workers at the top of the scale.
Tale of five factories
The proposals affected 493 weekly-paid staff at the site, which makes dips, convenience salads, sandwich wraps, soups and sauces; 1,176 staff are employed in total at Spalding across all five factories.
Unite has 60% membership at the site, and Lincoln regional officer Andy Shaw told FoodManufacture.co.uk yesterday that the firm had abandoned the consultation at the end of April, telling union shop stewards it was too far-reaching and complicated.
Shaw said: “The Union had been very high profile in its opposition, requesting a lot of information and making many challenges. We think matters came to a head when Bakkavör discovered that we were planning a ‘Cut my pay – no way’ demonstration.”
Rain on Bakkavör’s parade
The demonstration was due to take place at the Bakkavör sponsored Spalding Flower Parade on April 30, when decorated floats pass through the small Lincolnshire town.
“Quite a lot of work has gone into this consultation, so I expect that it will come back in some way or another, but for now it is good news,” said Shaw.
A Bakkavör spokesman said that the firm would now take alternative measures to address “ongoing business challenges” at Spalding, which include entering into standard pay negotiations to discuss the grading structure without cutting workforce pay.
In addition, he said the firm would set up a working party to review all roles and consult at a “factory by factory level at the site in respect of changes to specific parts of the business”.
“Bakkavör would like to thank its staff for their support to the business and continued hard work through these unsettling times,” he added.