Union officials are planning more industrial action at a plant owned by UK candy maker Tangerine Confectionery.
Staff at the factory in the English city of York are planning a walkout before Christmas in protest at a pay offer from Tangerine, the GMB union has said. The date is set to be decided on Friday.
The walkout would be the latest action at the facility with union officials expressing anger at a “derisory” pay offer from Tangerine. Staff have staged action on six occasions so far, ranging from one-day walkouts to employees starting and finishing their shifts earlier.
The GMB has also outlined allegations of “bullying tactics” during previous action, reporting picketers’ claims of “provocation and threatening behaviour”.
The GMB said Tangerine has informed the union staff must accept the company’s offer of a 1.25% increase back-dated to April by Friday or the proposal will be withdrawn. The union said the stance meant strike action is “inevitable”.
Ben Kirkham, a GMB organiser, said: “I am disappointed with the absence of any proper dialogue from Tangerine, and management’s actions towards our members. These threats are unacceptable and the pay offer is derisory, but GMB members have maintained their dignity whilst facing continued provocation to their job security. This clearly undermines the relationship Tangerine has with its workers and shows the dispute is justified – we have to face up to bullying employers.”
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In a statement to just-food, a Tangerine spokesperson said: “We can confirm a number of on-site briefings were held after employees asked us to clarify their pay situation. We’ve been honest with them that, as we are now in December, this is their final opportunity to accept our 2016 pay offer. We’d like to put that increase into their December pay packet, plus backdated increases to April, but we’ve been frank that this must be accepted by December 9th or the 2016 offer is no longer valid because we’re obviously heading into a new year. As we have consistently said, our door to the union remains open but the factory has remained operational throughout this issue and we continue to supply all our customers and the public.”