Unite held lunchtime talks last Friday (August 19) with the company at which 2SFG’s management revealed that there would be no job losses before January 2017 when the Tesco contract to supply ready-made chilled pizzas comes to an end.
The union said it was unhappy with the possible redundancy package for those workers set to lose their jobs.
The company also announced that it wanted to discuss changes to shift patterns, and also changes to terms and conditions. The union will be meeting with the company again on September 20.
The union said that it now had a ‘breathing space’ to consider a response to the management’s briefing before the next meeting with the company.
Unite regional officer Andy Shaw said: “We now have a clearer picture of the company’s thinking.
“We are at the start of the 45-day consultation period and we will leave no stone unturned to mitigate the threat to these jobs.
“There will be no redundancies before the company ‘exits’ the Tesco contract in January 2017.
“The bottom line is that Unite is committed to avoiding compulsory job losses and we will be actively exploring avenues, such as redeployment and voluntary redundancy.
“One thorny area that we will be contesting is that we believe that an enhanced redundancy package is in place with the pizza factory, although the company says that it intends only to pay the statutory minimum, which we consider to be totally unacceptable.”
Union lodges pay claim
The union had also lodged a 3% claim for the pay year August 2016 to August 2017 for the employees.
It argued that 2 Sisters could afford such a pay rise for the reduced workforce from January.
Unite said it had more than 450 members at the pizza factory.
Earlier this week, 2 Sisters told Foodmanufacture.co.uk that it would need to start the consultation after losing a contract for an own-label pizza contract.
A spokesman said: “Clearly this is disappointing news, but we will continue all other options available to us.”
In May, Unite members started voting on possible strike action over an outstanding pay claim for 2015.