Two Sisters Food Group, one of the UK's largest poultry processors, has defended the pay offer rejected by union representatives, who have threatened strike action after talks broke down.

Unite, the union representing workers at Two Sisters' three manufacturing sites, has said that a strike ballot will be put to its members after talks with the company failed to produce an agreement on pay.

Unite has criticised the company's "shocking level of payment". According to Unite, the company proposed a pay settlement of GBP214 (US$272.6) for a 37.5-hour week.

However, a spokesperson for Two Sisters defended the company's position.

"In addition to a number of other valuable benefits, we've offered Unite a 3.8% increase and a guarantee that there will be no redundancies in the next six months which, in the current economic climate, is an exceptional package," the spokesperson told just-food.

Unite has also criticised the company for its failure to disclose financial information during negotiations.

Two Sisters responded: "We've been open and straight with Unite and we're disappointed that they have so far been unable to demonstrate any willingness to compromise - instead, their bullying tactics suggest that they'd prefer to encourage employees to take industrial action."

A spokesperson for the union warned today (28 November) that, should a strike go ahead, poultry supplies to the UK's major supermarkets - including Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury's - would likely be impacted.