Unite regional organiser Joe Clarke told FoodManufacture.co.uk that a deal was reached last Friday, after 92% of staff voted in favour of an improved 2.5% two-year ‘no strings attached’ pay offer.
Distribution and transport staff had been set to vote on strike action at the bakery after rejecting a “derisory” 1.7% pay offer with “unpalatable add-ons” in May.
Agreement last Friday
Clarke said: “We had started the legal process for a ballot, but there were further discussions with the company last week, and we reached an agreement last Friday (July 29).”
Allied Bakeries is now offering a 2.5% pay increase in year one and a further 2.5% in year two.
A spokesman for Allied Bakeries said: “Following constructive discussions with employees and their representatives, Allied Bakeries West Bromwich has arrived at a set of proposals which we believe will continue to provide a competitive pay and benefits programme.”
Discussions between union officials and the firm foundered in late May, following a initial consultative ballot on strike action where 98% of some 150 Unite members in a bargaining group voted for action after rejecting the 1.7% pay offer.
Unite then entered the early stages of industrial action, and was looking to hold a further postal ballot for staff based at West Bromwich. Around 450 workers are employed on the site overall, although only transport and distribution staff (around 150) could strike.
Clarke told FoodManufacture.co.uk at the time that controversy over the British Airways vote last year (when the High Court injuncted strike action due to voting irregularities) meant that the union was taking care to “cross the t’s and dot the i’s” before taking further action.