Burton Latimer Weetabix workers vote to strike in fresh pay row

They unanimously voted for industrial action

By Sam Wildman
Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 9:40 am
Weetabix, Burton Latimer.
Weetabix, Burton Latimer.

Production workers at a Weetabix plant in Burton Latimer have voted to strike after a row over shift payments pushed them to the 'last resort'.

Usdaw union members at the AP4 plant in Station Road, which makes cereal bars, unanimously voted for industrial action after the cereal giant indicated that they would reduce unsociable hours premium pay.

The union say they anticipate that the first 24-hour stoppage will be called within a week from July 28, with further 24-hour or 48-hour strikes taking place on a periodic basis until a resolution is found.

Ed Leach, Usdaw area organiser, said: “It is very disappointing that the company has pushed this dispute to the point of industrial action, which is very much a last resort.

"Clearly the 100 per cent vote in favour shows how strongly our members feel.

“This dispute will not be resolved until an agreement is reached on the value of the shift premium pay for unsocial hours.

"We urge the company to move their position to avoid industrial action and disruption to the business.”

Weetabix say they remain in 'close consultation' with workers and are confident they can avoid product shortages.

A Weetabix spokesman said: "We are naturally disappointed by this result, but respect the voice of our workforce and their representatives.

"Our success over nearly 90 years is built on a strong relationship with our workforce.

"We will remain in close consultation with them and are confident that together we can avoid any product shortages while we implement necessary new ways of working to keep our cereal bars line competitive for the next 90 years and beyond.”

It's the second time Weetabix is facing strike action in recent months after a group of about 80 furious engineers in Corby and Burton Latimer were told of a new 'fire and rehire' policy.

Their union Unite said it would have resulted in some workers suffering substantial pay cuts. Some of the affected engineers said they would lose up to £5,000 a year.

The strikes were suspended the day before they were due to take place after 'constructive talks', but Unite warned they were prepared to renew strike action if negotiations did not lead to a satisfactory resolution.