Staff at 2 Sisters Food Group’s Solway Foods Nottinghamshire facility in the UK are being balloted on industrial action over a pay dispute.
The Bakers, Food & Allied Workers Union (BFAW) told just-food today (4 March) its members may take part in a two-week overtime ban, scheduled to begin on 17 March. Union representative Tony Lewis said the disagreement dates back to last year when 2 Sisters claimed no staff members would receive a pay rise.
“Prior to August 2012, our members had losses totalling nearly GBP200-400 per month because of [company] cuts,” he told just-food. These included changes to shift allowances, cuts to overtime rates and bank holiday agreements.
“We went along with this because the company was claiming that was how bad the industry was etc. We later found out that was not the case and the company had given all managers a pay rise of 2%.
“[Members] felt that wasn’t fair and that they should have a payrise as well. Consequently, they have balloted for industrial action, which is an overtime ban. We will have the results one week before the ban is due to start on 17 March.”
Lewis said the union has not heard back from 2 Sisters after it sent a letter to the company “notifying them we have followed all aspects of the employment act pertaining to industrial action”.
“They have not indicated whether they will sit down with us, I am still waiting to hear from them. There is no planned dialogue.”
In January, the Corby-based Solway facility took on 100 employees as a result of securing new business. The sandwich manufacturer supplies retail customers including Tesco and Costa.
The facility now employs around 1,300 staff. New business in the last 12 months has allowed the facility to increase production volumes by around 6%, it said earlier this year.