Strikes on hold at United Biscuits’ Aintree factory

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags United biscuits Trade union Strike action

United Biscuits makes Jacob's Cream Crackers at the Aintree plant
United Biscuits makes Jacob's Cream Crackers at the Aintree plant
Strikes have been suspended at United Biscuits’ (UB’s) Jacob’s Cream Cracker factory at Aintree while members of trades union GMB and management seek to repair relations with each other.

Talks will focus on the long term interests of the site and the GMB said it would keep members updated on their progress.

UB is pleased to announce that we have reached a resolution with the GMB with regards to the modernisation of working practices at our Aintree facility,”​ said UB in a statement.

“The new absence management policy proposed by UB will be introduced. However, the start date has now been deferred until February 1 2015 to allow for further consultation with staff ahead of implementation.

‘Potential issues’

“UB and the GMB have a shared understanding over the potential issues caused by high absence at Aintree, and will work collaboratively to address this as required in the future. The flexing of the site’s current Christmas shutdown period has also been agreed. The new shutdown will be in place from 2pm on December 24, with full production recommencing on the morning of January 5.”

UB said it was committed to continuing to work with the union to ensure the long term sustainable future for the site and its employees.

A series of two-day strikes was launched at the factory at the end of last month in a dispute over sick pay and rumours production would be outsourced to other facilities. That was after 84% of GMB members voted in favour of industrial action at a strike ballot on October 30.

The 24-hour strike by 800 GMB members at the plant, which makes other products such as Club chocolate biscuit, was due to take place today (December 3), but has been suspended.

Strike action

Two days of strike action took place from 7am November 23 to 7am November 25. A further four days were planned, running from 7am on December 3 to 7am on December 4, 7am December 6 to 7am December 7, and 7am December 14 to 7am December 16 have also been put on hold.

Earlier last month it was announced that United Biscuits had been purchased by Yildiz, a holding company of the Turkish manufacturer Ulker Biskuvi Sanayi.

The business has pledged to invest in United Biscuits sites in the UK, particularly Aintree, as part of its aim to become the third largest manufacturer of biscuits in the world.

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