Workers at one of Dutch potato products group Aviko’s domestic facilities are to down tools for 48 hours in a row over pay.

Employees of the plant, located in Lomm have voted to strike for better wages, said FNV, the trades union representing them.

An unspecified number of the factory’s staff will cease work for “at least” 48 hours from 2pm local time today (14 February), said FNV.

The union said Aviko, which makes frozen food products including French fries and hash browns for the retail and foodservice channels, offered workers a new “collective labour agreement” which included a wage raise of “no more than” 4.5%.

Employees want a minimum of 5.3% wage growth and demand an “automatic price compensation” from next year, which would mean that their wages would “increase in line with the prices in the stores,” said FNV.

The union said “a large majority of FNV members rejected Aviko’s final offer at the beginning of January”. Workers had given the company an “ultimatum” that expired on Monday (12 February).

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Robert Wonnink, director of the FNV union said the workers “have felt disadvantaged for years”.

“The differences seem small, but the sentiment is great among the employees,” he said.

Wonnink said he doesn’t “expect” the industry action to stop after two days.

“People at other locations are also very dissatisfied with the final offer that the company has submitted for their new collective labour agreement,” he said.

The union said this is the “second year in a row that employees feel forced to strike for a good pay increase”.

In a statement sent to Just Food, Aviko said: “We regret that FNV has decided to strike at our facility in Lomm because there have been intensive negotiations over a new collective labour agreement for Aviko in recent months.

“We reached an agreement with CNV [another union reprsenting workers at the facility] during the negotiations, but we were unable to do so with FNV. CNV has indicated that they will not strike at Aviko because an agreement has already been reached.”

The statement went on: “We believe that we have made a good proposal for a new collective labor agreement. The total package that is offered results in salary development that contains pay rise, an extra yearly full payment period and adjustments of our salary system which increases the majority of the salaries with extra percentages on top.”

Despite the walkout at the Lomm facility, which employs 160 people, Aviko said it is “committed to ensuring that business operations and production processes continue as normal”.

The statement said: “We urgently request FNV to reconsider and accept the proposal. And of course, we will continue to engage in dialogue with the unions, now and in the future.”

Aviko employs around 2,500 people worldwide at 13 production locations in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Poland and China.

It processes more than two million tonnes of potatoes per year.