Unite leader Sharon Graham joins striking Kettering Weetabix workers on picket line
- Wednesday 29 September 2021
Today, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham will join Weetabix factory engineers who are striking over Weetabix’s brutal ‘fire and rehire’ ultimatum that will slash their wages and conditions.
The workers, based at the company’s factories in Kettering and Corby, face changes to their shift and working patterns that would result in some engineers losing as much as £5,000 from their yearly earnings.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “It's obviously wrong for companies to try and sack workers and then re-hire them on worse wages and conditions. This is exactly what is happening at Weetabix - accept worse wages, pensions and conditions or you’ll be sacked. Weetabix must be learning this sort of ‘take it or leave it’ industrial relations from their American owners. Unite won’t accept that.”
Weetabix has performed very strongly since the beginning of the pandemic. In 2020, its turnover grew by 5 per cent to £325 million and profits leapt by almost 20 per cent to £82 million.
Weetabix’s parent company, Post Holdings Inc, the US cereal giant, latest accounts show it had a turnover of $5.7 billion (£4.2 billion) and an operating profit of $701 million (£518 millon). Its cash reserves are $1.2 billion (£890 million).
The strikes will cause widespread delays to production and lead to shortages of Weetabix and other popular products made at the factories including Alpen, Weetos and Oatibix.
Sharon Graham said: “Unite is there to defend the jobs, pay and conditions of its members. This is a totally unjustifiable assault on workers’ wages and conditions. Last year Weetabix’s profits went up by almost 20 per cent to more than £81 million. Where is the justification for their brutal fire and rehire ultimatum?”
For media enquires ONLY contact Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215.
Email: [email protected]
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.