Industrial action at UK meat processor Browns Food Group has ended after striking workers accepted a pay deal put forward by the company.
Staff at Browns’ factory in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, voted for several rounds of strike action and an overtime ban in August after rejecting a pay offer.
Paul Bennett from the Unite trades union, which represents 350 workers at the Kelloholm facility, said at the time: “The company is in a very healthy financial position due to the hard work of our members, so it’s scandalous that they are treating the workforce with such contempt.”
Browns responded that the union’s pay demands were an “unrealistic request”.
But in a statement issued today (12 October) Unite said an agreement has now been reached and workers have accepted the offer of a 13.2% wage increase for 2023.
It said the deal comprises the implementation of the ‘real living wage’ of £10.90 an hour backdated to April 2023, plus a £250 ($305.96) one-off payment. As part of a three-year deal, Unite said Browns had also committed to wage increases for 2024 and 2025.
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Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said: “Unite’s members at Browns have secured an excellent wage deal. The pay increase of 13.2% this year was only achieved through the brave stance our members took in taking on their employer through strike action.”
Browns specialises in the production of cooked and sliced meats for the retail and foodservice channels. The family-controlled business purchased the 150,000 sq-ft cooked meat factory in Kelloholm in 2014.
According to the company’s website, it operates from seven manufacturing sites.
In the year to 31 December 2022, Browns recorded revenues of £194.3m, a 26.2% increase year-on-year. EBITDA was up 3% at £17.3m.
Just Food has asked Browns for its comments on the dispute ending.