Workers at the factory – which is set to close by 2019, with the loss of 242 jobs – are to hold six weeks of industrial action, after Britvic’s “refusal” to meet with the GMB.
The plans followed strike action last week (12 July), which saw GMB members attending the Wimbledon Championships to distribute newsletters about their dispute with Britvic.
Ivan Mercer, GMB regional organiser, said: “It is clear that Britvic have no concern for the well-being of their employees and the significant stress and anxiety our members are suffering due to the company's refusal to meet with GMB.
‘A way out of this dispute’
“We are hoping that the announcement of carrying out 24-hour strikes for three days per week for a six-week period will encourage Britvic to meet with us to agree a way out of this dispute.”
Technical operators at the Norwich site will be the first to strike, followed by operators and drive site and engineering workers. All industrial action will last for 24 hours, from 6am to 6am. A full list of days when workers will strike can be found in the box below.
Commenting on the planned strikes, a Britvic spokesman said the company was disappointed with the decision by the GMB to take industrial action.
“We acknowledge that the GMB is not satisfied with the proposed redundancy payments despite Britvic’s commitment to offer every impacted Britvic employee an enhanced redundancy package,” said the spokesman.
Substantially larger pay package
“This enhanced package is substantially larger than the amount we are legally obliged to pay and we made this commitment in good faith following the collective consultation process with employee representatives, which included the GMB and Unite unions.”
The industrial action would not lead to a larger redundancy payment, the spokesman added.
As part of closure plans for the Norwich plant, Unilever aims to transfer production of Colman’s Mustard, which is manufactured at the same site, to Burton upon Trent. The mustard has been produced at the Norwich factory since the 1860s.
Meanwhile, Britvic’s recent half-year results for the 28 weeks to 15 April 2018 revealed a period of growth for the company, with sales up 4.5% to £733.2m.
- 1, 8, 15, 22 29 August and 5 September
- 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 August and 6 September
Drive Site and Engineering
- 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 August and 7 September
All 24 hour strikes from 6am to 6am