2 Sisters was currently dealing with two other disputes with the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union over wages, terms and conditions.
Members of the Pennine Foods factory in Sheffield staged a 48h walkout at the end of last week while its RF Brookes site in Newport, Wales announced a 48h strike from 5am on Thursday, June 2.
Balloting 440 members
Unite, the union, is balloting 440 members at the Nottingham site, over the possible action. It has accused the company of trying to get staff to sign away their terms and conditions in exchange for a non-negotiated pay deal. The union called it a “blatant attempt” to undermine the legitimate industrial action ballot.
Unite claimed that workers were pulled into a pay briefing with senior management. They were told of the company’s plans to allegedly slash overtime, weekend working, bank holiday and sickness cover pay rates.
Unite has told the company that any changes to workers’ terms and conditions will need to be negotiated separately from the pay deal, which is now 10 months overdue.
Unite regional officer Andy Shaw said: “2 Sisters management has behaved appallingly towards its loyal workforce, stoking up fear and damaging industrial relations without good reason.
“Unite submitted its pay claim back in September, seeking a modest 3.1% pay increase, but rather than honour the annual pay anniversary the company has been refusing to negotiate.
Cut workers’ overtime
“Any attempts to cut workers’ overtime, holiday and weekend pay to offset the government’s new National Living Wage or to impose changes without negotiating with the workers’ union will be strenuously challenged by Unite.
The industrial action ballot closes on Monday, June 6.
2 Sisters has denied the union’s claims. A spokesman for the manufacturer told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “As a responsible employer with colleagues and customers at our heart, it is critical we create sustainable businesses to provide future job security for thousands of colleagues in the UK.
“We are a large and complex business and we cannot adopt one standard approach to wage negotiations, terms and conditions and shift patterns across all our sites. It is regrettable that we have yet to reach agreement at three sites, but talks are on-going.
“All production will remain unaffected by strike action.”