More strikes are likely at plants owned by Nestlé, Zentis and Carl Kühne in Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia region.

Employees across the three businesses have called for an increase to wages, Tim Lösch, the managing director of the Gewerkschaft Nahrung-Genuss-Gaststätten (NGG) food trade union, told Just Food.

Strikes began at two Zentis sites in Aachen on 15 May, when 150 employees staged a two-hour strike in a dispute over pay, Lösch said.

Workers had demanded a 9.5% rise in pay, but were met with “no offer” from Zentis, resulting in 300 people carrying out another two-hour walkout the next day.

The jams and sweets maker employs around 700 workers across both sites in total.

Stoppages took place at the company’s Eilendorf and Jülicher Strasse facilities. The former processes confectionary brands such as its namesake marzipan, while the latter makes private-label jams and fruit preparations for dairy applications.

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Talks held yesterday (22 May) have also been unsuccessful, with Zentis again refusing to put an offer on the table.

“Unfortunately, the negotiations yesterday were not good at all, so we’re standing in front of another strike, but I don’t know yet how long the next strike will [be],” Lösch said.

He added that discussions with employers on the next steps would take place today (23 May).

The next meeting with employers from the three companies is scheduled for “the middle of July”, he said.

Zentis had not responded to requests for comment at the time of writing.

Employees also walked out last week at Nestlé’s Neuss factory, used primarily for the production of its mustard and mayonnaise brand, Thomy. Around 200 people work at the site.

The dressings and condiments producer Carl Kühne equally saw a halt to production at its vinegar and mustard site in Straelen, where 300 people are employed.

Lösch was unable to confirm the exact dates of the strike and how many people were involved in the walkout.

Just Food has contacted Nestlé and Carl Kühne for comment.