Barry Callebaut workers in the UK have called off the threat of strike action after agreeing a deal on pay.

Plans for two 48-hour stoppages at the chocolate firm's Banbury plant, set for Friday (28 September) and Monday, have been called off when staff secured a 2.6% pay hike.

Employees had held industrial action last weekend in protest at an initial offer of a 1.5% increase. Union officials claimed other staff had been offered a 2% rise and said there could be more strikes.

Earlier in the week, employees had threatened strike action after becoming "disillusioned" at an offer of a 1.5% increase. The Unite union said the company had warned all back pay would be lost unless the lower pay offer was accepted by the end of the year.

However, a deal has now been done. Unite regional officer Mick Polleck said: "At long last managers have seen sense. It's been a long road but our members have shown true grit and determination in their fight for a fair pay deal. Our members can now get back to doing what they do best; making chocolate products for some of the globe's biggest chocolate makers and helping Barry Callebaut retain its world class status.

Barry Callebaut could not be reached for immediate comment.