Strikes are set to continue at two of Aviko’s potato processing plants in the Netherlands, as workers demand better pay.

Around 100 employees have walked out at the factories in Lomm in the Venlo municipality and at its headquarters in Steenderen, Aviko confirmed.

According to the Dutch trade union FNV, Aviko had proposed a 4.5% hike in wages, which some employees have deemed is not enough.

In a statement, Robert Wonninck, director of the food industry arm of FNV, said: “People have been clear: they want appreciation for their work. 

“This means a wage increase of at least 5.3% and automatic price compensation. From now on, salaries must rise in line with inflation. Then everyone can continue to pay for their groceries.”

The first strike began on 14 February. This was followed by a second walkout two days later, an Aviko spokesperson told Just Food.

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The third and present strike began yesterday evening and is due to continue until Sunday (25 February), the spokesperson confirmed.

Around 680 people work across both sites, according to the group. Members of another Dutch union, CNV, did not join the strike, having agreed to the 4.5% proposal.

In a statement, Aviko described the latest walkouts as “harmful and disproportionate given the fact that Aviko has already reached an agreement with another trade union, CNV”.

Commenting on the news, Wonnick said the latest strikes were “inevitable”.

“Aviko doesn’t move an inch in our direction, so they bring it upon themselves that the people will continue with their strike. We will only stop if the management wants to agree on a better collective labor agreement.”

The potato processor has not planned any further talks for the time being, it told Just Food, adding that it “welcomes any dialogue with FNV and urges FNV to reconsider”.

When asked about the impact of the strikes on production, Aviko said: “At the moment, we maximise the available production capacity. It is too early to say exactly what the consequences of this strike will be.”

The company produces a range of prepared potato products. These include potato chips, hash browns, sweet potato wedges and potato-based snacks.

Around 2,500 people work for Aviko globally across 13 production locations in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Poland and China.