Cranswick workers strike at Bury plant

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Members of staff at Cranswick Bury downed tools in a dispute over pay and working conditions
Members of staff at Cranswick Bury downed tools in a dispute over pay and working conditions

Related tags Meat & Seafood

Workers at Cranswick’s Bury site have gone on strike in a dispute over pay and working conditions.

Members of staff downed tools and gathered outside the factory on 27 and 28 July in an unofficial protest. The site does not have union representation.  

Managers at the plant were accused of treating workers like machines, with not enough break time given for them to be able to have meals. 

Some workers claimed they were not allowed to take proper breaks when working on a production line and that staff were 'marshalled' when taking a break and ordered back to work if they took too long.  

Pay dispute ​ 

There was also disquiet over wages, with claims some staff were not paid in full for working overtime and unsociable hours.  

One member of staff attending the protests told local publication The Manchester Evening News: “Mainly it is about the break times and the worker's conditions. Many of us are not allowed to have a proper break. We can have a glass of water, then we are back down on the production line.  

“The workers feel mentally and physically affected by this. We do have a half hour break which is taken but have two subsequent ten-minute breaks which are not in the contract but are the custom of the company in which you can go into the canteen and have a drink then you have to go straight back.” 

A similar strike was held outside of Cranswick’s Hull site in December 2018 over claims of mistreatment by management.  

List of demands 

One Cranswick worker at the strike on the 28th listed a set of seven demands from the manufacturer that echoed those made by staff at the Hull factory four years ago. 

These included: an increase in staff on each production line; increased overtime pay by 50% of the hourly rate; increased pay in line with the national minimum wage increase; a £1 an hour increase for everyone in Cranswick; a stop to constantly increasing production rates; and improved working conditions. 

A spokesman for Cranswick told Food Manufacture​: “There was a small dispute at the site which has now been resolved by the local management team. All employees returned to work after a short period of time.” 

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