Around mill 150 workers to strike over ‘pay cut’ while AB AGRI rakes in nearly £1bn 

Mill workers employed by animal feed and nutritional product manufacturer AB AGRI will strike in April over pay, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Friday). 

Strike action will take place from 1 April to 7 April. Work to rule will be in affect from 8 April to 14 April, before all out indefinite strike action begins on 15 April

The workers, based at mills in Suffolk, Norfork, Oxfordshire, Fife, Devon, Lincolnshire and East and North Yorkshire (see notes to editors for location details), rejected an imposed pay offer of 4.5 per cent. With the real rate of inflation, RPI, running at 13.4 per cent, this is a significant real terms pay cut.  

AB AGRI’s latest financial report shows it had a turnover of £955 million for the year ending 31 August 2021. AB AGRI’s owner, ABF, reported group revenues of £6.7 billion over the four months to 7 January 2023. 

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “AB AGRI and ABF can well afford to pay these workers a fair pay rise. Instead, they have forced through a substantial real terms pay cut. Unite never accepts attacks on our members jobs, pay or conditions and AB AGRI workers will receive their union’s full backing during these strikes.”

The strike action will cause significant disruption to the operations of AB AGRI mills, which produce a huge proportion of the UK’s pig and poultry feed. The dispute is also over AB AGRI’s failure to recognise the mill workers as a national bargaining unit represented by Unite. 

According to Unite, the company’s efforts to undermine collective bargaining and its refusal to allow staff, mainly at its Flixborough site in Lincolnshire, to pursue voluntary redundancy are at odds with its membership of the Ethical Trading Initiative.

Unite regional officer Mark Jaina said: “AB AGRI’s attempts to union bust won’t work and contravene its membership of the Ethical Trading Initiative. The only way the company can end this dispute is to stop its attacks on the Flixborough workforce, recognise the union and put forward an offer our members can accept.”

ENDS 

Notes to editors: 

The workers at based at mills in Bury St Edmonds in Suffolk, Walsingham in Norfolk, Flixborough in Lincolnshire, Sherburn in North Yorkshire, Cupar in Fife, Enstone in Oxfordshire, Cullompton in Devon and Fridaythrope in East Yorkshire.

For media enquires ONLY contact Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215.

Email: [email protected] 

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Web: unitetheunion.org

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