Burton’s Foods strike action averted

By Ben Bouckley

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Burton’s foods, Trade union

Burton’s Foods strike action averted
The Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) has called off scheduled strike action at Burton’s Foods Blackpool site, after the union agreed to further talks with company management.

BFAWU regional officer Roy Streeter told FoodManufacture.co.uk this morning that further talks were planned between union officials and the company this week.

The first stoppage scheduled for last Tuesday was called off at the eleventh hour, after Burton’s challenged the validity of the original June 20 ballot for strike action. Further action was planned today, and on July 20 and July 26.

Real momentum

175 out of 202 workers at the Devonshire Road site - which produces brands such as Jammie Dodgers and Wagon Wheels - balloted by the union voted in favour of industrial action, after rejecting a 1.8% pay rise.

Streeter said: “We accepted there were a few issues with the ballot. It’s difficult. We said to the company that we would sit down and talk.

"There seems to be a real momentum to resolve the issue, and if there was no momentum then we would re-ballot members.”

Production continues

A Burton’s Foods spokesman said last Friday: “Burton’s Foods and BFAWU representatives are continuing discussions in order to find a settlement for the company’s employees in Blackpool.

“At a meeting between Union representatives and Burton’s Foods held today (July 15), both parties agreed to further talks.

“As a result, all proposed strikes and other industrial action has been suspended and production at the site continues as usual.”

Early last week, before the most recent meetings with the company, BFAWU organising regional secretary Geoff Atkinson expressed confidence about the validity of the ballot, but added: “If we do have to do a re-ballot then I’m confident we’ll get over 86% support.

“There’s a feeling [amongst members] that people need to get off their knees and challenge what is a derisory pay offer for this year.”

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