The union called for a deal that matched the one offered to the workers’ counterparts at sister business Noon Foods, the ethnic ready meals producer.
Gavin Davies, GMB London Region senior organiser said: “The employer must understand how unhappy and anxious this is making our members working at the site. They are aware that the employer has made site closures and has plans for further cuts so that Pilgrim's shareholders don’t lose out on their dividends.
Cost of living crisis
“GMB asks that the employer consider what the cost of living crisis is doing to a workforce that worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic and helped get the company through that difficult time.
Pilgrim Food Masters at Spurway, Greenford and GMB Union have moved to arbitration.
“GMB calls on the company to put a better deal on the table that will be acceptable to our members at Spurway, an offer that makes a positive difference when times are hard and living in London comes at a premium,” Davies added.
GMB’s rejection of the pay deal followed the Pilgrim’s Food Masters’ announcement last month that it was to close its Southall Factory, putting 220 jobs at risk of redundancy. The site on Collet Way is one of four within the manufacturer’s Noon business.
The company said the proposal was due to the external market conditions that “continue to be extremely challenging” across the entire industry, “with difficult headwinds and the inflationary environment.”
Meanwhile, more than 50 workers at the Mizkan Euro factory in Rochdale are set for further strike action over pay.
According to the union Unite, the strike action is a result of the Japanese company offering a 5% pay increase which it says is a “substantial real terms pay cut” as the real inflation rate (RPI) is now standing at 14.2%.