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8 Sep 2021

Rob Moss, Personnel Today

UK: Weetabix workers to begin 48-hour strikes over 'fire and rehire' dispute

"Weetabix workers to strike two days every week in ‘fire and rehire’ dispute", 8 September 2021

Engineers employed at Weetabix factories are set to begin a series of two-day strikes this month in a dispute over what their trade union describes as a fire-and-rehire proposals that will result in some being as much as £5,000 per year worse off.

Unite members based at the company’s factories in Kettering and Corby in Northamptonshire say they face being dismissed and re-engaged on new contracts that change shifts and working patterns...

Strike action was originally scheduled for June but was postponed to allow for in-depth talks with management. Those talks led to new proposals, but these were rejected by 82% of members in a consultative ballot

Unite said it will begin a series of 48-hour strikes on Tuesday 21 September on a weekly basis throughout the autumn with the final strike scheduled for 30 November...

A Weetabix Food Company spokesperson said: “We’re naturally disappointed by the result of the Unite ballot, but respect the voice of our workforce and their representatives. Our success over nearly 90 years has been built on a strong relationship with our workforce. We will remain in dialogue with them and are confident that we can avoid any product supply disruption while we implement the new ways of working necessary to keep us competitive.

“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.”

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