Now more Burton Latimer Weetabix workers could strike over pay dispute
Production workers will ballot over industrial action - just a week after engineers from a different union called a strike off at the last minute
Weetabix is facing its second strike ballot in two months after a pay dispute involving more workers at their Burton Latimer site.
Production workers at the Station Road AP4 plant, which produces cereal bars, will vote on whether to take industrial action after trade union Usdaw opened a ballot today (Tuesday).
The ballot, launched after Weetabix indicated that they would reduce unsociable hours premium pay, will close at noon on July 13.
If members vote to take strike action, Usdaw say they anticipate that the first 24-hour stoppage will be called within a week from July 28. It is anticipated that further 24 or 48-hour stoppages would take place on a periodic basis until a resolution is found.
Usdaw area organiser Ed Leach said: “It is very disappointing that the company has pushed this dispute over unsociable hours shift premium pay to the point of industrial action, which is very much a last resort for our members.
“During a consultation about the company’s proposed change of shift patterns, they indicated they would be reducing unsocial hours premium pay, which we dispute.
"Following the consultation a failure to agree has been lodged. Unfortunately there has been no resolution despite further meetings.
“This dispute will not be resolved until an agreement is reached on the value of the shift premium and we urge the company to move their position to avoid industrial action and disruption to the business.”
The ballot comes just a week after Corby and Burton Latimer Weetabix engineers, who are part of union Unite, suspended a strike at the last minute over a 'fire and rehire' plan which could have seen some workers lose £5,000 a year. They had voted for industrial action but put the strike on hold until September for further negotiations after 'constructive talks'.
Weetabix say they will remain in 'close consultation' with Usdaw members at the AP4 cereal bar plant to reach a solution.
A Weetabix Food Company spokesman said: "As part of our ongoing change programme, it is necessary to implement new ways of working at our cereal bar factory to keep us competitive.
"We’re disappointed that our employees’ representatives feel it necessary to ballot for industrial action, but respect their right to do so.
"Our success over nearly 90 years is built on a strong sense of teamwork and we will remain in close consultation with our colleagues to reach a mutually agreeable solution.
"We are proud to have recognised the efforts of all of our teams in keeping our factories open throughout the challenges of the last year and we were very happy to be able to share two discretionary bonuses with our manufacturing teams during that time."