Employees at the Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate the Worksop, Nottinghamshire facility are planning to walk out after rejecting a ‘real terms’ pay cut. This is when pay rises are below the level of inflation.
In response to GMB Union's announcement, Cargill told Food Manufacture it has made a “market competitive offer” of a 5.5% increase, as well as an £1,400 one-time bonus payment during negotiations.
“We greatly value our employees and the work they do,” added the spokesperson for the ingredients giant, which supplies products to a range of manufacturers.
“Workers aren’t demanding gold-wrapped pay-outs, instead they’re asking for a pay packet that covers the bills,” said Cameron Mitchell, GMB organiser. “We urge company top brass to urgently back around the table with a fair offer for our members."
Walk-out dates are yet to be announced, but in the meantime, Cargill has said Worksop employees are not on strike, with operations continuing as usual.
“Twelve of our 34 employees at Worksop belong to the GMB union and we hope we can come to a collaborative agreement,” the spokesperson for Cargill added, before noting that the company is not predicting supplies to be affected in any case.
“Cargill has contingency plans in place to continue providing chocolate to our customers if a strike does occur,” the spokesperson continued. “We do not currently have, nor do we anticipate, a chocolate shortage or adverse supply chain impact to any of our customers.”
While the union has warned of a possible 'Ferrero Rocher shortage' as a result of the Cargill strike, a Ferrero spokesperson told Food Manufacture: "We do not source any of our cocoa from the Cargill factory in Nottinghamshire for Ferrero Rocher."