MP meets Valeo Foods York factory workers as strike looms

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

Strike action at the York confectionery plant is set to start on 21 March
Strike action at the York confectionery plant is set to start on 21 March

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MP Rachael Maskell has met with workers at Valeo Foods, manufacturer of Fox’s Glacier Mints, Mint Humbugs and Poppets, ahead of planned strike action at its York confectionery factory.

Dozens of GMB members voted to walk out after Valeo bosses tendered an unacceptable offer to workers there. Those voting for the strike complained the company had offered them a below inflation pay rise, excluded the lowest paid workers from a one-off payment and took two days holiday off others. 

Industrial action is set to start on 21 March.

When workers voted in favour of striking last month​, a spokesman for Valeo Foods told Food Manufacture: "We are currently engaged in very constructive conversations with our colleagues as part of a routine annual pay review process, however it would be inappropriate for us to comment on the specifics of that dialogue."

The company has been approached for additional comment.

According to the GMB union, while meeting Maskell, who is MP for York Central, workers told her if accepted, the pay deal would force them to choose between paying for food or heating. 

End to pay bargaining

The company has also given notice to the union that it wants an end to pay bargaining at the York site.     

“I have met with workers from Valeo in York and listened to their concerns; they have told me that the company’s pay deal has been overwhelmingly rejected twice by workers at the York site,"​ said Maskell.   

“It was worrying to hear the concerns of workers - many of them with years of loyal service to the company - and some already struggling to make ends meet because of rising fuel and food prices.   

“I will be meeting with the company in the coming weeks and agreed with the workforce that I will raise these concerns with management on their behalf.”

The sale of Valeo Foods by former owner CapVest to Bain Capital Private Equity was agreed in May 2021​. Shortly afterwards, Valeo announced it had agreed to acquire meat snacks group NWFE​.

Related topics: Confectionery, Operations

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