Workers demand better offer from profitable firm after years of shrinking wages  

More than 100 workers based at commercial kitchen manufacturer Lincat will begin pay strikes next week, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Friday).

The low paid workers have rejected a split pay deal that would see wages increase by 5.5 per cent back paid from January until June this year and then a further six month pay deal of eight per cent from June. Higher paid workers have been offered tiered pay rises, none of which reached eight per cent.

The deals offered to all workers are real terms pay cuts when the true rate of inflation, RPI, stands at nine per cent.

Lincat’s skilled workforce have suffered years of erosion to the value of their wages. Hourly pay, which for most is £12.03, used to be substantially above the minimum wage but over successive years that gap has continued to shrink. 

According to its latest financial returns, Lincat raked in operating profits of £8.9 million for the year to January 2022. The company is part of the US-based Middleby corporation, which brought in revenues of over $1 billion in the second quarter of 2023. 

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Lincat and its owner Middleby are rolling in cash, yet their Lincoln workers have seen the value of their wages fall for years on end. What was a reasonably paid job is now a poorly paid one – this is just greed on the part of Lincat. Unite never accepts attacks on our members’ jobs, pay or conditions and the workforce at Lincat will receive their union’s absolute backing as they strike for a fair pay rise.”

The workers will strike for a week beginning on Monday (4 September). Industrial action will intensify if an acceptable offer is not put forward by the company.

Lincat manufactures a wide selection of commercial kitchen appliances, including oven ranges, hobs, combi steamers, fryers, griddles, grills and water boilers. The workers perform a range of roles including welding, press brake operations, assembly and safety testing.

The strikes will result in serious disruption to the factory and potential delays to kitchen appliances destined for pubs, restaurants and canteens.

Unite regional officer Lee Purslow said: “This dispute and the disruption it will cause to Lincat’s clients is entirely of the company’s own making. Lincat can afford to put forward an offer that our members will accept and that is what needs to happen.”


For media enquires ONLY contact senior Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215 or 020 3371 2065. 

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.