Bakkavor strike suspended, Greene King workers to strike

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Bakkavor action has been suspended
Bakkavor action has been suspended

Related tags Business leaders

Strike action planned by more than 700 workers at Bakkavor’s factory in Spalding has been suspended following a revised pay offer.

The strike action​,​ which was due to begin on 25 November and last until 2 January, was over a 6.5% pay offer, Unite the union previously revealed. The production line operatives make own brand soups, sauces and deli produce for major supermarkets. According to Bakkavor, around half of its staff at the site in Spalding are members of the union.

However, a new pay offer has seen the strikes postponed to allow workers to be balloted on the new offer. 

Unite regional officer Ravinder Assi said: “Following fresh talks a further pay offer was made. The strikes scheduled to begin on 25 November have been suspended while workers are balloted.” 


In a statement Bakkavor said it was  pleased to confirm it has reached agreement with the Unite union on its latest pay offer at its Spalding site. 

“The union will be strongly recommending this offer to its members, and the strike action previously planned at this site has been called off,” the statement said. 

“It is important for us to be able to offer our colleagues a fair and sustainable pay offer, along with wider benefits. At the Spalding site, our most recent offer of a two-year pay deal, with a 7.5% increase in 2022 and 6.0% in 2023, is competitive with the local market and provides colleagues with certainty.

"It also allows us to focus on our operational delivery, at a time when the trading environment remains challenging and significant inflationary headwinds are persisting.”​ 

The news comes as Bakkavor has already revealed 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.

Strike action

Meanwhile, Unite has said that 188 of it workers at Greene King breweries based at Bury St Edmunds, Eastwood (Nottinghamshire) and Abingdon (Oxfordshire) would be taking an initial five days of strike action beginning on Monday 5 December.

The workers voted for strike action after Greene King only offered them a 3% pay increase and a further one-off payment of £650. 

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said:  “Unite members at Greene King will receive the union’s complete and total support throughout their dispute.”​ 

A Greene king spokesperson said it was “disappointed” that the union has encouraged its members to reject the pay offer. It said the deal also included a number of other benefits.

“Our pay rise offer is fair and consistent across the business, especially given the challenging wider economic environment. We have full contingency plans in place to minimise disruption and we will be working closely with our customers to communicate and implement these in the coming days​,” the spokesperson said.

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