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22 Sep 2021

UK: Weetabix workers in Northamptonshire plan strike action over pay disputes

In May 2021, engineers at Weetabix factories in Kettering and Corby in Northamptonshire announced a vote on strike action, stating they were being made to accept new contracts, that would mean some workers losing up to £5,000 a year.

According to Unite the Union, the company told engineers to change their work patterns under new contracts, which would result in major cuts in shift allowances. There would also be a move to require more day working than shift working ,further reducing workers' pay. Unite referred to this as "fire and rehire".

Strike action was initially scheduled for June, but was postponed to allow for further discussions with management. The discussions led to new proposals, which were rejected by 82% of members.

Separately, in August 2021, Members of Usdaw union working at Weetabix's Burton Latimer factory in Kettering staged a 24-hour strike, after rejecting an offer from Weetabix on pay during unsocial hours. Strike action had been postponed on two separate occasions while discussions continued. In September 2021, the dispute was resolved, with Usdaw union representatives confirming that 82% of staff members had accepted a new offer.

On 21 September 2021, engineers in the Kettering and Corby factories began a series of 48-hour strikes, which they planned to continue on a weekly basis until 30 November 2021.

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