One of two disputes cereal business Weetabix has had with its employees in the UK has been settled.
Weetabix, owned by US-based Post Holdings, saw members of the union Usdaw stage a 24-hour walkout at a cereal bars facility in Kettering in the English Midlands last month in a row over pay for shifts during unsocial hours.
But Usdaw, which represents food processing workers at Weetabix, said the dispute has now been settled.
In a statement, it revealed its members had voted overwhelmingly – 82% – for the company’s revised offer.
Ed Leach – Usdaw area organiser said: “We are pleased to have come to a resolution after the company finally moved on the issue and reinstated the 27.5% shift pay premium.
“It is disappointing that we had to resort to a 24-hour stoppage and I thank our members for standing strong against a significant threat to their pay.”
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In response, a Weetabix spokesperson said: “Our success over nearly 90 years has been built on a strong relationship with our workforce and we are pleased to have found a fair solution to necessary changes in our ways of working that will keep us competitive.”
Weetabix is, however, still threatened with strike action from a second dispute with workers at the Kettering plant and at another plant in nearby Corby.
Last week, the company was told workers there will down tools on specified days between this month and November following a row over changes to contracts.
Trade union Unite, which represents engineers, said its members at the sites will begin a series of 48 hour strikes on Tuesday 21 September. The final strike is scheduled to start on Tuesday 30 November.
Unite claims Weetabix “plans to fire and rehire them [workers] on vastly inferior contracts” and that changes to shift and working patterns would result in some workers being up to GBP5,000 (US$6,884) a year worse off.
Weetabix described the fire and re-hire claims as “unfair and inaccurate”.
It added: “We will remain in dialogue with them [the union and its members] and are confident that we can avoid any product supply disruption while we implement the new ways of working necessary to keep us competitive.”