Workers at US food group Pinnacle Foods have agreed a new four-year contract that includes a pay increase.

Around 400 workers had backed strike action last month over Pinnacle‘s planned pension reforms.

However, a statement from The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) yesterday (19 February), said workers had voted to ratify a contract that “preserves their pension plan and includes a wage increase of $1.60 to $1.80 over the term of the agreement”.

“The fact that we were able to preserve retirement benefits for Pinnacle Foods workers is significant,” said UFCW Local 617 president Darin Boatman. “Pensions allow workers to remain in the middle class, boost their savings rates during retirement and reinvest in our economy. This contract is not only a win for Pinnacle Foods workers, it’s also a win for the surrounding communities.”

Pinnacle, which also sells frozen foods under the Birds Eye brand in the US, has had a run of declining earnings of late. In November, the firm booked a drop in third-quarter profits, which were hit by charges related to restructuring and refinancing.