UK union Unite has confirmed that industrial action will go ahead as planned at Heinz’s flagship production site in the country after the plant’s staff rejected the US group’s latest pay offer.
Unite said a strike would go ahead tomorrow (11 January) at the Kitt Green site in north-west England.
The union said that some 65.4% of the 1,200 workers had voted to reject the Heinz’s revised offer of a pay increase of 3.5% this year, plus a GBP200 non-consolidated bonus and a 3.4% pay rise for 2012.
Following the results today, Unite has agreed to meet for further talks with Heinz conciliated by ACAS.
Unite national officer Jennie Formby said: “Following the result, Heinz management have said they want to enter into conciliation through ACAS and Unite has agreed to this. However, the company is fully aware that the industrial action will continue until we reach a settlement that is acceptable to our members so I hope that when we meet they will be prepared to add some real value to the offer. Our members have sent the loudest possible message to Heinz management – we deserve a better deal”.
Earlier today, Heinz said it was “extremely disappointed” with the result of the latest ballot and that the outcome was not a vote in support of jobs or future investment in manufacturing at Kitt Green.