Warburtons has offered a 2% pay increase to employees, which was rejected by 95% of members of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU).
The company then said it would consider improving the pay offer, but only if employees would accept seven changes to terms and conditions.
BFAWU regional officer Roy Streeter told Foodmanufacture.co.uk that the union did not have a mandate to agree to changes in terms and conditions and so started a consultative ballot with members across Warburtons’ UK sites.
He said: “This is a profitable company. We have fought for these terms and conditions over the years and we are not giving anything away without a mandate from the shop floor. Results are being counted. We will know on Tuesday [August 7] whether members want to take industrial action.”
‘A good employer’
Warburtons said in a statement: “Warburtons has a proud track record as a good employer with nearly 30% of our employees having been with us for 10 years or more. We are always willing to have an open dialogue with our employees and their representatives.
“Our offer of a 2% pay rise with no conditions attached is fair in this tough market but we are also willing to make a higher offer in return for some modest changes to working practices.
“We are committed to continued negotiation with the BFAWU. We do not yet have the results through from the consultative ballot but we hope the invitation to discuss a properly funded higher offer for employees will be achievable.”
The company has 11 bakeries and 13 depots in the UK.