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UK: Weetabix engineers begin 48-hour strike over 'fire and rehire' pay cuts

"Weetabix engineers strike over pay", 21 September 2021

Weetabix engineers have begun industrial action over changes to their pay that could result in them being up to £5,000 per year worse off.

Picket lines were in place at factories in Burton Latimer and Corby in Northamptonshire...at the start of a 48-hour strike by members of the union Unite.

...further 48-hour strikes beginning on Tuesdays have been planned to take place throughout the autumn season by the union, with the final one scheduled to start on 30 November.

According to the union, industrial action will cause “widespread delays” to production and shortages of Weetabix and other products made by the factories including Alpen, Weetos and Oatibix.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham commented that proposed changes are “a totally unjustifiable assault on workers’ wages” and that the Weetabix engineers will not accept being fired and rehired.

“...This is a totally unjustifiable assault on workers’ wages and conditions. Last year Weetabix’s profits went up by almost 20% to more than £81 million,” she said.

A spokesperson for the Weetabix Food Company said: “...It is unfair and inaccurate to compare this with other disputes that require new contracts to be signed or face dismissal; this is not a choice we’re considering at present.

“We remain in close consultation with our engineers and their representatives and are confident that the opportunity still exists to find a resolution that creates future shared success.”

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