Weetabix hits out at ‘fire and rehire’ claims

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Weetabix conmtinued to dismiss claims of fire and rehire plans at its Kettering and Corby plants
Weetabix conmtinued to dismiss claims of fire and rehire plans at its Kettering and Corby plants

Related tags Employment Cereal

Weetabix has continued to dismiss claims it is using ‘fire and rehire’ tactics in its ongoing pay dispute with workers union Unite and has levelled criticism on the union using the situation to support its unrelated national campaign against similar employment practices.

The cereal manufacturer has been in dispute with the union since September over new pay terms at its Kettering and Corby factories that Unite claimed would see engineers losing out on £5,000 a year in wages.

Commenting on the spat, Stuart Branch – group people and IT director at Weetabix Food Company – said: “We're concerned to see that our reputation is being damaged in service of Unite's national campaign on 'Fire and Rehire', which is irrelevant to the current industrial action at Weetabix.

Pay discussions

“The current discussions with our team focus on a request for compensation for a change in shift patterns. As these changes are permitted under their existing contracts we will not be paying for them as it would be unfair to our other employees.”

Unite announced last week that it would be stepping up strike action at the Kettering and Corby factories from two days a week to four. From today (November 8), strikes will take place every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Industrial action was supported by protests at supermarkets across the UK against Weetabix’s ‘fire and rehire’ plans.

Unite regional officer Sean Kettle said: “Our members’ determination to fend off these unjustified pay grabs is rock solid and Weetabix’s reputation will continue to be damaged until it withdraws them.

Public against ‘fire and rehire’

“Polling shows 70% of people disagree with fire and rehire, a practice which leaves an especially bad taste in the mouth when its conducted by a company that bills itself as the ‘nation’s favourite’.”

Strikes were initially planned to end on November 30.

Branch added: “We have repeatedly reassured our engineering team and their union representatives that no individual is at risk of dismissal and that roles exist for all thanks to our ongoing investment in our UK factories.”

“We are extremely proud of the efforts of our 1,000 strong British workforce, and have paid two additional bonuses over the last year to reflect their hard work throughout the pandemic.”

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1 comment


Posted by gavin peters,

I wont be buying any weetabix or other brands they own until the management stop their nonsence over changes in contracts

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