Bakkavor staff to strike at Spalding factory over pay offer

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Bakkavor is facing strike action at its Spalding factory in Lincolnshire
Bakkavor is facing strike action at its Spalding factory in Lincolnshire

Related tags Business

More than 700 workers at Bakkavor’s food manufacturing factory in Spalding, Lincolnshire are to strike from late November until the New Year over a 6.5% pay offer, Unite the union has revealed.

The union said the production line operatives – who make own brand soups, sauces and deli produce for major supermarkets – have rejected the pay offer. 

The news comes as Bakkavor has already revealed this month that it is proposing to close two factories​ – Bakkavor Salads in Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire and Bakkavor Desserts in Leicester – which could impact 900 jobs. Bakkavor said it needed to “protect”​ the business and respond to market conditions.

According to Bakkavor around half of its staff at the site in Spalding are members of the union. The company said it had contingency plans in place to ensure that any disruption is kept to a minimum.

Challenging economic environment

Across its UK sites, Bakkavor has been awarding pay increases for colleagues – a move to support its people despite the challenging economic context for the sector. Bakkavor believes its proposed 6.5% pay award for colleagues in Spalding is positive and sustainable and is part of a broader package of employee benefits,” ​the company said in a statement. 

“Bakkavor's proposed pay offer is competitive in the local market at a time when current trading conditions are causing significant levels of inflation across its cost base. Bakkavor is very disappointed the Unite union is going ahead with strike action based on pay claims that are simply unsustainable in the current trading environment.”

However, the union has said the pay offer is actually a “substantial pay cut”​ with the current rate of inflation. 

Union backing

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite will not tolerate attacks on our members’ jobs, pay or conditions and our Bakkavor members have the union’s complete backing as they strike for a better deal.” ​ 

The strikes, which begin on 25 November will last until 2 January and more strikes will be scheduled if the dispute is not resolved.

Strikes were due to take place in early November but were postponed to allow for an amended pay offer to be voted on. According to Unite the workforce overwhelmingly rejected the offer.  

Related topics People & Skills Chilled foods

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