Workers at Harrow, UK-based Bakkavor Pizza have rejected a 5.9% pay deal, with strike action now on the horizon.
Members of the GMB union at the plant – which supplies pizza to major supermarkets including Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose – took part in an indicative strike ballot last week, with 78% of members rejecting the wage offer.
GMB said it will now take formal steps for a strike ballot. Industrial action could mean pizza supplies will be “severely disrupted” for some big high street names, the union warned.
“This decision for a GMB mandate for industrial action has not been taken lightly or without consideration by our members,” said Trevlyn McLeod, GMB’s London region organiser. “They are determined to give Bakkavor the message that they want a better deal.”
McLeod added: “Now that GMB has secured a strong mandate for industrial action, it is hoped that Bakkavor Pizza at Harrow will finally recognise the value of their staff and how they have been impacted by the cost-of-living crisis and put forward an improved pay offer.”
A spokesperson for Bakkavor said that the company believes its proposed 5.9% pay award is “fair and highly competitive”.
The spokesperson added: “The proposed offer at Harrow would continue to maintain all hourly pay rates above both the National and London Living Wage. This is also part of a broader package of benefits including a heavily discounted staff shop and access to a range of employee benefits including a pension scheme.
“The GMB membership accounts for a minority of our colleagues at the site and their views are not fully representative of the whole workforce. Should the strike action go ahead, we have robust and detailed contingencies in place to prevent any service disruption for our customers through the utilisation of the spare capacity at our pizza site in Lincolnshire.”