The BFAWU claimed workers on the night shift were offered a much smaller pay rise than their day shift counterparts in a move it described as manipulative and designed to pit workers against each other.
Excluded from pay offer
It also claimed some workers had been completely excluded from the proposed pay offer, with new employees offered significantly more money than existing staff. In general, the BFAWU suggested that the pay rises amounted to about 1%.
The union criticised the manufacturer for the treatment of its staff and for not recognising their contribution to the nation’s supply of food and drink, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The key workers based at Greencore Food Group’s site in Northampton have had to endure untold stress during this pandemic,” said the BFAWU. “And while their bosses continue to make millions, the workers themselves have been forced to risk their lives working in arduous conditions, that, to be polite, are far from ideal.
Opinions of its employees
“If Greencore’s bosses care anything about the opinions of their employees they will be listening carefully to what the bakers union and their membership has to say during these discussions. The union is correct that the ‘only effective answer to organised greed is organised labour’.”
The union is now in negotiation with Greencore to address concerns regarding pay inequality.
Commenting on the pay dispute, a spokesman for Greencore said: “It is disappointing that our proposed pay rise for colleagues at our Northampton site has been rejected, especially given the current challenging climate in which very few businesses are in a position to offer one.”
Meanwhile, Heineken faced a threatened strike at its Bulmer’s and Strongbow cider plant in Hereford over changes to workers pay and employment terms, in what trade union Unite describes as a 'sack and sign' campaign.