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Article

25 May 2021

Author:
BBC

UK: Unite union accuses Weetabix of adopting ‘fire and rehire’ strategy to impose contract with worse terms on engineers at Northamptonshire factory

“Warning of Weetabix shortage amid ‘fire and rehire’ strike row”, 25 May 2021

Engineers at the company's factories in Kettering and Corby in Northamptonshire are threatening to walk out over pay and conditions and say this would lead to production stoppages.

They say they are being made to accept new contracts that could mean some of them losing up to £5,000 a year.

There would also be a move to require more day working than shift working, further contributing to the cut in pay, it added.

"Our members play an essential role in keeping the Weetabix plants operating and to treat them in such an offhand manner in order to simply boost profits is disgraceful," said Unite regional officer Sean Kettle.

Unite said the ballot for strike action opens on Thursday 27 May and closes on Thursday 3 June.

A Weetabix spokesperson told the BBC: "As part of our ongoing change programme, we have been in close consultation with our employees and their local union representatives to implement new ways of working.

"Fire and rehire is ripping through our workplaces like a disease," said Unite general secretary Len McCluskey.

"It's a disgraceful practice that's outlawed in much of Europe and should be here."

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