Breakfast cereals production could be hit by industria...

Breakfast cereals’ production could be hit by industrial action after rep with ‘unblemished’ record sacked

08 November 2016

Production of some of the nation’s favourite breakfast cereals could be hit by possible industrial action, unless a union rep working for Cereal Partners in Trowbridge, Wiltshire with an ‘unblemished’ 18-year work record is not reinstated.

Unite, the country’s largest union, said that its members were prepared to take industrial action, which could hit the production of such cereals as Shredded Wheat and Shreddies, unless Justin Beckett is given his job back.

The union said that Mr Beckett, a manufacturing operative and a rep of 10 years standing, was a victim of ‘an internal stitch up’ during the disciplinary process, following an alleged minor verbal altercation between him and a company manager.

Talks held last Friday (4 November) between Unite and the bosses at the Staverton site ended without a resolution. The union described the management’s attitude as ‘frosty’.

Unite regional officer Tony Hulbert said: “The management has a final opportunity to resolve this dispute and reinstate Justin Beckett who has an unblemished 18-year work record, before the union moves to the next stage which is industrial action.

“Such action will hit the production of some of the nation’s favourite breakfast cereals, such as Shredded Wheat and Shreddies.

“Unite will not stand by and allow Justin to lose his job in a manner that smacks of an internal stitch-up, following a minor verbal exchange with a colleague.

“Last Friday’s talks could be described as frosty and the management gave no commitment to reinstate Justin.

“I have another scheduled meeting with the company on Thursday (10 November) which gives the management a chance to do the right thing and reinstate Justin, who enjoys maximum support from his work colleagues.”

Unite has a mandate for strike action and/or industrial action short of a strike from the workforce in its campaign for Justin Beckett’s reinstatement, following his dismissal on 7 September. Unite has nearly 100 members at the site which has a workforce of about 170.


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Email: 

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.