Workers at JDE (Jacobs Douwe Egberts) in Banbury, Oxfordshire have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a new pay and employment conditions’ package that removes the management’s proposal to ‘fire and rehire’ staff, Unite the union said today (Wednesday 4 July).

Unite said that its members had voted by 81 per cent on a 93 per cent turnout to accept the deal that was hammered out after three weeks of intensive talks with management in the long-running dispute affecting employees at the Ruscote Avenue site.

The other components of the package include removal of the management’s controversial ‘fire and rehire’ proposal; safeguarding pay and employment conditions; and compensation if an employee has to change shifts.

Unite national officer for the food industry Joe Clarke said: We are delighted that our members have overwhelmingly accepted this deal in a democratic ballot – the scale of the endorsement shows that Unite’s stance during the dispute and in the tough negotiations reflected the wishes of the vast majority of the employees.

“The fact that ‘fire and rehire’ has been removed from the table is a major achievement for Unite and the Unite internal plant committee, and a tribute to the solidarity that our members have demonstrated throughout. Our members remain in the top 25 per cent of earners for this industry which is a key feature of the package now agreed. 

“This outcome is as a result of an intense, high-profile industrial action and leverage campaign supported by the membership of Unite, the trade union movement and the community.

“There is now an opportunity to rebuild relationships with the management in the months and years ahead. We are particularly keen to enter into constructive discussions about future investment opportunities at Ruscote Avenue. 

“I would, once again, like to pay heartfelt thanks to our members, their families and the wider Banbury community for the tremendous level of support shown during the last six months.” 


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