UK union warns of Weetabix shortage following impending strike

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

A strike action by engineers at two of Weetabix's sites will undoubtedly cause production hitches that could result in product shortages. Pic: GettyImages/nicalfc
A strike action by engineers at two of Weetabix's sites will undoubtedly cause production hitches that could result in product shortages. Pic: GettyImages/nicalfc

Related tags: Weetabix, Unite union, Strike action

Unite has announced that engineers at Weetabix’s factories in Northamptonshire will go on strike later this month over plans by the company to ‘fire and rehire’ them, which will result in pay cuts.

According to the UK’s leading union, the strategy by Weetabix – which was acquired by US cereal giant Post Holdings​ in 2017 – could see pay cuts of up to £5,000 a year per employee.

The workers at the Corby and Kettering sites will begin strike action on Wednesday, 23 June. They will then strike on the Wednesday of each week until mid-September.

The action will inevitably cause production hitches and could lead to shortages of the iconic breakfast cereal. It has also raised health and safety concerns, as it means very few engineers will be on shift at certain times.

Ban fire and rehire

Unite has repeatedly raised the alarm over an outbreak of ‘fire and rehire’ disputes across the UK as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The union is calling on government to outlaw the practice, in line with other competitor countries. A recent Survation poll for Unite found seven in 10 workers want the practice banned.

“It's quite clear that the public is firmly on the side of working people when it comes to the horrific practice of fire and rehire,”​ said Howard Beckett, Unite assistant general secretary for politics and legal.

“There is no grey area here. They see that this is an objectionable practice that should be banned. The government has to get on the same page as the voters on this - and fast.”

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