Staff at Heinz’s flagship UK production site have turned down the baked beans maker’s latest pay offer.
Heinz said today (10 January) that it was “extremely disappointed” with the result of the latest pay deal ballot at the plant at Kitt Green.
The manufacturer said that there had “clearly been a significant loss of support for further industrial action” but admitted the “overall result will leave many dismayed in view of the pay deal put forward by Heinz”.
“Over two years, the deal was worth more than an extra 10% to the average worker’s wage at Kitt Green,” Heinz said.
A Heinz spokesperson added that the outcome of the ballot is not a vote in support of jobs or future investment in manufacturing at Kitt Green, saying that it is already the “most costly for labour across the Heinz manufacturing network in the UK and elsewhere in Europe”.
The most recent offer included a 3.5% pay increase back-dated to April 2010, plus a GBP200 (US$312) one-off payment, and an increase of 3.4% in 2011 together with a performance related bonus. The union is seeking a pay increase in excess of 4%.
Prior to the ballot, Unite announced plans for a strike on 11 January, however the union did not respond to requests for comment before this article went to press.
Heinz said that despite the three 24-hour strikes to date its products continue to be available.