Bakkavor defends pay offer as strike hits

By Helen Gilbert

- Last updated on GMT

Bakkavor makes products such as ready meals and prepared salads and vegetables
Bakkavor makes products such as ready meals and prepared salads and vegetables
Marks & Spencer (M&S) supplier Bakkavor has defended a 2.75% pay rise offered to staff at its Bo’ness plant and said there were no plans to reopen negotiations.

The confirmation came as workers geared up for industrial action from midnight on 12 April in a dispute over pay. 

A Bakkavor spokeswoman insisted the pay award to employees equated to a 2.75% increase. ​[This] is above the UK inflation rate, therefore we are not going to recommence the 2018 pay negotiations,”​ she said.

“We remain disappointed that the GMB continues to create this unsettling environment for our colleagues, but have a robust contingency plan in place for the duration of the industrial action.” 

‘Derisory offer’

Trade union GMB Scotland, which represents employees at the West Lothian-based site, said the lowest-paid were facing a pay rise of “just 6p an hour”​ following a “derisory pay offer”​ from the company.

According to the union, its members started an indefinite overtime ban on 12 April, while day-long walkouts have also been scheduled for 17 April, 25 April and 7 May. 

‘Deserve better’

Christina Lambie, GMB Scotland organiser, said: ​[They] deserve so much better than the poverty pay they receive from this hugely profitable company which makes high-quality products for the food shop of choice of those who can afford the luxury – M&S.” 

“GMB will meet with the company at any time to resolve this dispute. It is in their gift to do so. This won’t be just a strike, this will be an M&S strike.” 

Food Manufacture​ understands that M&S supplies won’t be affected by the action.

Bakkavor makes products such as ready meals and prepared salads and vegetables.

Related topics: Chilled foods

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