The union said that workers at the factory are to stage a permanent strike in anger at a “real terms pay cut”. Jacob’s workers will now be on strike 24-hours a day, seven days a week until the company comes back to the negotiating table.
It is understood that the workers were offered a pay rise of almost 9% over two years and a one off payment of £500. Food Manufacture understands that Pladis is to temporarily move some production of Jacob’s Cream Crackers to a third-party partner in Portugal.
A Pladis spokesperson said: “As has been widely documented, the cost of doing business has increased significantly in every aspect of our operations, from rising energy costs to a wide range of pressures more broadly in our supply chain.
“However, we greatly value our workforce, many of whom helped to keep us going throughout the pandemic, which is why, despite these pressures, we have offered a pay rise at almost 9% over two years, in addition to an immediate £500 payment to help with the increased cost of living.
The spokesperson added: “We therefore regret that the GMB has decided to take this course of action, despite our efforts to reach an agreement with them. We would like to take this opportunity to reiterate that our door remains open for further discussions with the union’s representatives.”
Meanwhile, Eamon O’Hearn, GMB National Officer, said: “These workers are rightly angry – they put themselves on the line to keep the company going during the pandemic.
“Now they need some help to get them through the cost-of-living crisis. But it’s falling on deaf ears."