Hundreds of workers from the site gathered in protest after being refused a pay rise equivalent to about 50p per hour. It is understood staff requested the pay rise after learning a rival business was offering better pay for the same job.
A spokesman for Karro said: “We can confirm that strike action not recognised by USDAW [the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers] took place at our Malton site yesterday. However, all employees have now returned to work.
‘Planned pay talks’
“We have updated our Malton site that we will continue to consult with our recognised trade union USDAW and to take inputs for these discussions from across the site, ahead of our planned pay talks meeting with USDAW next week, as we work to find solutions through the agreed process.
“Karro is operating in a challenging marketplace and we’re working hard to ensure our business remains fit for the future, for the benefit of all colleagues.”
Karro said it had contingency plans in place to support continued production for its customers.
An Usdaw spokesperson added: “We are aware of a number of issues and concerns staff have at the Malton site of Karro Foods Group and Usdaw is due to meet the company next week to seek to resolve them. The action that has been taken is unofficial.”
The protests came a week after Karro and owner CapVest acquired Young’s Seafood for an undisclosed sum, in a bid to create a new multi-protein food group.
The new group will have sales of over £1.2bn a year and employ more than 5,000 people across the UK and Ireland. Karro and Young’s would continue to operate as two separate business within the enlarged group.
Meanwhile, strike action has been threatened at a number of food and drink manufacturing business since the start of 2019.
In April, workers’ union Unite held a strike ballot for its members working at poultry processor Moy Park, while strike action was planned at Marks & Spencer supplier Bakkavor during the same month.