The deal will see workers receive a 3.2% pay rise for the 2017/18 period, based on February’s retail price index (RPI) figure. Pay increases in the 2018/19 period will be based on the RPI in February next year.
Workers at Cadbury’s sites in Birmingham, Chirk and Marlbrook, voted overwhelmingly in favour for the deal, according to Unite, which also includes a rise in maternity pay.
By law, maternity pay of 90% is payable for the first six weeks. After that, under the new deal, maternity pay will now be 65% of earnings for the next seven-and-a-half months – up from the current 12 weeks. This is in addition to the government’s statutory maternity pay.
Welcomed the pay deal
Unite’s national lead officer for food, drink and agriculture Joe Clarke welcomed the pay deal.
Clarke said: “It is a package designed to counter rising inflation levels and protect our members’ standard of living during these challenging economic times. Unite has guaranteed a cost of living increase for Cadbury UK workers nationally with this two-year deal.
“We are delighted that the Cadbury business, with its strong ethical traditions, can still act in a positive fashion in relation to its workforce and set the benchmark within the food, drink and agriculture industries for other employers to follow.”
‘Set the benchmark’
Clarke said other food and drink companies could learn from Cadbury’s new pay deal.
“The recognition of how important decent maternity pay arrangements are is warmly welcomed by all our members and is an example which others in this sector should emulate,” added Clarke.
Commenting on the deal, a Mondelēz spokesperson said: “Whilst ensuring the business remains competitive, the deal rewards our respected colleagues across our three chocolate manufacturing sites in the UK.
“Our factories, and the people who work there, are absolutely vital to our business in the UK, which is why we’ve invested £200m in the UK, including £75m to secure the future of Bournville.”
Cadbury’s pay rise followed a trend of average pay settlements going up in the manufacturing sector – while pay freezes have gone down – according to the EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation.
However, the EEF said the acceleration remained modest compared with that of consumer price inflation. This meant that workers could still end up feeling the pinch while employers could come under wage pressure, it added.