Burton Latimer Weetabix workers to strike next month

A union has urged the cereal giant to resolve a dispute over shift pay

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 10:13 am
Weetabix in Burton Latimer

A 24-hour strike will take place at a Burton Latimer Weetabix plant next month after a row about shift pay.

Production workers at the AP4 plant, which produces cereal bars, will walk out at 7pm on August 2 after the cereal giant indicated that they would reduce unsociable hours premium pay.

Usdaw union members unanimously voted for industrial action and union has said further 24-hour or 48-hour strikes will take place on a periodic basis until a resolution is found.

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Ed Leach, Usdaw area organiser, said: “Industrial action is very much a last resort, but the unanimous vote to strike shows the strength of feeling among our members on this issue.

"It is disappointing that the company has pushed this dispute to the point of industrial action, which 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 this 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 Food Company spokesman said: "We are naturally disappointed by the decision to strike, 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 a strike has been called at Weetabix in recent months after a new 'fire and rehire' policy caused 80 angry engineers in Corby and Burton Latimer to vote for action.

Their union Unite said some of the affected engineers would lose up to £5,000 a year.

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