Unite the union and the management of JDE (Jacobs Douwe Egberts) will be holding two weeks of intensive talks in a bid to resolve the ‘fire and rehire’ dispute at the plant in Banbury, Oxfordshire, the union announced today (Friday 25 June).

Unite will now suspend the industrial action that has been running since the beginning of May for the next fortnight, while JDE has agreed to push back the implementation of ‘fire and rehire’ plans affecting 291 employees until 13 September.

Unite national officer for the food industry Joe Clarke said: “Both parties have committed to a two week period of constructive and intensive negotiations, starting on Monday (28 June). This will mean Unite suspending the current planned industrial action for the next fortnight and JDE agreeing to push back the implementation date for the ‘fire and rehire’ proposals until 13 September. Our members will be working normally during this period. 

“This jointly agreed de-escalation process presents a corridor of opportunity for meaningful talks to overcome the impasse in the difficult discussions we have previously had on the future terms and conditions for our members. 

“Unite is fully committed to reaching a resolution in the best interests of our members, who have shown wonderful solidarity and community spirit throughout. 

“This dispute has caused serious strains between the workforce and management, souring the previous good employment relations that we enjoyed with the company for many decades. It has also adversely affected the broader Banbury community. 

“Hopefully, we can now make serious progress leading to a satisfactory conclusion to this dispute. Unite won’t be commenting again until these talks have concluded.” 


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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.