A spokesperson for 2 Sisters said a pay deal of GBP6.50 per hour, or a 4.5% increase at basic level, had been agreed

A spokesperson for 2 Sisters said a pay deal of GBP6.50 per hour, or a 4.5% increase at basic level, had been agreed

A strike planned for tomorrow at two 2 Sisters Food Group plants has been called off after the UK firm tabled a "much improved" pay offer to workers.

2 Sisters said an agreement over pay and terms and conditions of employment had put an end to the current dispute and "removes the threat" of future strike action.

A 24-hour walkout was held last Friday, although a second planned for Tuesday was subsequently cancelled ahead of talks that have led to agreement and led to the cancellation of tomorrow's action. 

A spokesperson for 2 Sisters told just-food a pay deal of GBP6.50 (US$10.59) per hour, or a 4.5% increase at a basic level, with an opportunity for overtime, had been agreed. The new rates of pay will be backed to 1 August and employees will retain the ability to earn overtime.

The company said it will also make a "substantial investment" in joint training with the Unite union to "underpin the commitment to building a culture that ensures that all employees are treated with respect and dignity at work". The spokesperson did not reveal financial details of the investment.

Workers had had concerns over changes to shift patterns and 2 Sisters said talks would continue with staff.

"Discussions will now continue between the company and Unite to develop new shift patterns across the four sites that introduces seven day working," the company said. "The plan is to have a pilot scheme up and running in the first quarter of 2013 and full transition to the new patterns in the summer of 2013."

Unite regional officer Des Quinn hailed the agreement as "a victory for worker solidarity".

"Unite is consulting the members on the package, which includes an improved above-inflation pay deal backdated to 1 August - the start of the pay year. Because of the holiday season, our consultation with the members won't be completed until early January. In the meantime, we have called off the strike action planned for tomorrow," he said.