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Pilgrim’s Food Masters workers secure ‘inflation-busting’ pay increase

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Unite has secured a pay deal for workers at Pilgrim’s Food Masters. Image: Getty, Paul Bradbury
Unite has secured a pay deal for workers at Pilgrim’s Food Masters. Image: Getty, Paul Bradbury

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Workers at Pilgrim’s Food Masters have secured an ‘inflation-busting’ pay increase at the manufacturer’s site in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland.

Members of Unite the Union working at the site have ended an industrial dispute with the employer after accepting a pay improvement of £1.02 an hour across all grades.

Unite had previous rejected Pilgrim’s Food Masters’ initial offer of an extra 85 pence an hour, which lead to preparations for a strike ballot before an improved offer was obtained.

The offer represented a 9.3% increase to production workers who are currently paid £11 an hour, and a 7.6% and 5.6% increase for team leaders and engineers respectively – all significantly above the current 12-month inflation rate.

‘Inflation-busting’

Brenda Stevenson, regional officer for the workforce, said: “This is an inflation-busting pay improvement for low-paid workers at Pilgrims and I congratulate those who have secured this improved offer. Pilgrim’s can well afford to share its success with its employees.

“I would encourage workers across the meat processing sector to join Unite and get involved in building strong teams of reps in their workplace as the best way to improve conditions across the board.”

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham welcomed the deal and applauded the success of the Pilgrim’s Food Masters employees.

‘Significant improvement’

Workers have succeeded in obtaining an above-inflation pay improvement and a significant improvement on what was initially offered through their readiness to take strike action,” ​Graham added.

“This outcome demonstrates once again the importance of strike-ready workplaces to win real improvements for workers.”

News of Unites pay deal win comes as Pilgrim’s Food Masters threatens to make up to 260 members of staff redundant​ due to the proposed closure of a manufacturing site in west London.

Meanwhile, last month, workers at Suntory Beverage & Food’s factory in Gloucestershire have called off strike action after securing a new pay deal with the manufacturer.

More than 180 members of the union called off planned strikes in light of fresh talks with Suntory and an improved offer was made.

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