Unite, the UK’s leading union, has secured a pay rise for hundreds of workers employed by Bakkavor at five factories in Lincolnshire.

Ballot prepared

The union was preparing to ballot for industrial action, after the food manufacturer had introduced a £250 extra payment to new starters once they had completed 16 weeks of work, while refusing to make a similar incentive payment to its existing workforce.

As a result of Unite’s intent to move towards industrial action Bakkavor returned to negotiations and the union was able to secure permanent pay increases of between one and eight per cent (depending on roles and previous pay rates) for workers at four of the sites: Bakkavor Pizza in Holbeach, Bakkavor Salad in Bourne, Bakkavor Desserts in Newark and Bakkavor Meals in Sutton Bridge.

Important deal

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This is a highly important deal for Unite’s members at Bakkavor who, by standing together, have secured permanent pay rises for all workers.

“Unite is absolutely committed to defend the jobs, pay and conditions of all its members and this result for workers at Bakkavor, many of whom are low paid, demonstrates our commitment in action.”

Extra payment

Workers at a fifth site Bakkavor Foods in West March Road, Spalding already received a higher rate of pay than the other factories and in this case Unite was able to negotiate a £100 one off payment to all hourly paid workers.

As a result of the agreement on pay the £250 starter rate payment has been withdrawn with immediate effect.

Deal agreed

Unite regional officer Neelam Verma said: “Credit must go to our members at Bakkavor, who made it entirely clear that they were not going to accept the introduction of unfair starter rates, which failed to value the existing workforce.

“Once Bakkavor realised the level of anger on the shop floor, it returned to the negotiating table and agreed the improved pay rates. Unite will continue to work with its members to ensure that pay rates are further increased in the future.”

 ENDS

Notes to editors:

During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.

For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

Email: [email protected]

Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.