Members of the union held an emergency branch meeting on Sunday (September 24) to decide on whether or not to take industrial action at the factory.
Regional officer George Atwell said: “We’re looking to take three to four days’ strike action. Ballot forms will be going out to our members by next week.
‘No other option’
“The union has written a letter to their parent company Danish Crown. We are always willing to sit down with the company and negotiate. But the final statement [from the firm] was that there was nothing on the table, leaving us no other option than industrial action.”
The BFAWU said the strikes would take place between October and November, during the run up to Christmas.
A Tulip spokesman told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “It is our understanding there has been no formal ballot for industrial action at the Coalville site. Production continues at the site as normal.”
The BFAWU claimed workers at the Coalville site had not received a pay rise in three years, while losing premium rates – such as tea breaks. The union submitted 19 demands to Tulip, which it claimed were all rejected.
Submitted 19 demands to Tulip
The union also criticised Tulip’s purchase of pig producer Easey Holdings last week, which it said revealed the company had sufficient funds to lift wages.
Speaking last week, Atwell said: “They’ve bought a pig producer and the company said they have no money. They’re making investments, but not in our membership. It’s like a smack in the teeth.”
In response, a Tulip spokesman told FoodManufacture.co.uk that claims the company had refused to raise employees’ pay were untrue.
“A pay rise had been offered which has been rejected,” said the spokesman. “Discussions [with union representatives] are currently at an end.”
The BFAWU’s members make up 130 staff of the Coalville factory’s workforce.