Greencore employees are set to walk out in a row over “poverty-levels of pay” after the company failed to improve its offer, Unite has announced.
More than 500 workers at the convenience foods producer will take to the picket line from Sunday, 11 September, with strikes expected to last until 9 October.
According to Unite, many staff at sandwich and ready meals supplier earn £10.53 an hour, while the latest company figures showed profits of more than £15 million.
The union members taking part in the strikes carry out a range of duties at Greencore, such as factory line work, quality control, store work and cleaning.
Greencore is a key supplier to major supermarkets, including Morrisons, Asda, Aldi, Lidl and Co-Op, as well as high-street stores such as Boots. Unite says the industrial action will mean fewer sandwiches on the shelves for consumers.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Greencore workers do difficult work to ensure that sandwiches reach supermarket shelves across the country. Yet their employer, whilst making substantial profits, sees fit not to share the spoils with its workers.”
“Our members will have the unceasing support of Unite in their fight for improved pay.”
Unite regional officer Andy Shaw added: “We see the profits Greencore is making but they won’t pay their workers a fair wage at a time of high-inflation and high-prices. Our members have had enough and will be walking out in September.
“It’s not too late to avoid this action if the company remembers where its profits come from and heads back to the negotiating table with an improved pay offer.”
However, Greencore argued its final wage deal was both “strong and competitive”.
A company spokesperson said: “Having been in discussions with union representatives regarding pay in respect to colleagues at our Manton Wood site since January, we are disappointed that Greencore’s final pay offer, which we believe to be both strong and competitive, has been rejected by union members on a small turnout.
“We will be undertaking a number of planning and mitigation measures at the site in the coming weeks in order to prevent any disruption to service levels for our customers should potential industrial action take place.
“In parallel, we will continue to liaise with both Unite and our Manton Wood colleagues with the aim of reaching agreement.”