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Juice giant’s pay squeeze prompts ten weeks of strike action

Juice giant’s pay squeeze prompts 10 weeks of strike action

22 January 2015

Up to 430 members of Britain’s largest union, Unite will be starting a series of 36-hour stoppages at the Bridgewater based juice giant Refresco Gerber on Tuesday 27 January, over plans to railroad through cuts to their pay, terms and conditions.

The eleven 36-hour strikes, over 10 weeks, follow a refusal by the company to fully negotiate the introduction of cuts to shift and sick pay and the imposition of new shift patterns. 

The changes at the juice maker, which produces supermarket own brand products for Waitrose, Asda and Tesco and works with brands such as Innocent, Del Monte and Ocean Spray, also involve cuts to overtime and bank holiday pay, as well as holiday entitlements.  

The production operators, engineers and warehouse workers will be striking from 06:45 on 27 January until 19:00 on 28 January followed by a further 10 36-hour stoppages beginning on 2,4,12,18 and 27 February, 2, 12,18, 24 March and 1 April. 

Unite regional officer Roy Winter said: “Loyal staff who have worked hard to make Refresco Gerber Europe’s biggest juice manufacturer feel betrayed by plans to railroad through cuts to their pay, terms and conditions.

“They are angry that their modest working conditions are being torn up in a bid to squeeze every last drop of profit out of them. This further attack on their terms and conditions will deepen the daily struggle to make ends meet that a majority of the workforce face.

“The race to the bottom needs to stop. The company needs to drop its refusal to negotiate and enter into meaningful talks to avoid the inevitable disruption that prolonged strike action will have on the supply of well-loved household brands.”

ENDS   

For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869 or Unite regional officer Roy Winter on 07720 705087.

Notes to editors

  • 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.