Workers at the Kit Kat owners York site offered pay rise

Workers at the Kit Kat owner's York site offered pay rise

Nestle has performed a partial U-turn over plans to issue a pay freeze in the UK by offering employees a 1% increase.

Earlier this month, Nestle workers across the UK were being balloted on industrial action in a national dispute over a pay freeze.

The GMB, one of the unions representing Nestle workers, told just-food that the firm had recently rejected a claim for a 2.5% pay increase, insisting that 0% would be offered for 2010.

However, the firm has since backed down on the pay freeze, offering staff at its York site a 1% increase in basic pay. The offer however, is yet to be made at the firm’s other 15 UK sites.

A Nestlé spokesperson said: "The economic environment remains very tough in 2010. In this climate, its important we manage the costs we control, in order to remain competitive and to give us the means to invest for the future.

“We can confirm that in York we have offered a 1% pay increase on base rates with an increase in bonus opportunity from 4% to a maximum of 5.6%. The unions will ballot their membership on this offer. We have yet to make offers at other Nestlé sites, but will do so in line with local bargaining arrangements,” the spokesperson added.

Nestle said it will continue pay discussions locally with the unions through the “formal channels”.

“We want everyone to share in the success of the business and our offer reflects this,” the spokesperson said. “We are confident that our pay and benefits package remains strong and is capable of attracting the best talent in the industry."

Yesterday, Nestle booked an increase in first-quarter sales worldwide, boosted by its performance in emerging and developing markets.

For the three-month period, total group sales rose 4.4% to CHF26.3bn (US$24.6bn). Organic sales grew 6.5% and Nestle booked real internal growth - the growth achieved without external funding and excluding pricing, currency exchange and acquisitions - of 4.8%.