Heinz strikes continue

Posted on 11 Jan 2011 by The Manufacturer

Heinz workers at the baked bean maker’s flagship Kitt Green factory in Wigan continue their strike action today with a 24-hour walkout.

The workers, represented by the union Unite, have rejected the firm’s latest pay offer of a 3.5 per cent pay rise this year in addition to a £200 bonus, followed by a 3.4 per cent rise in 2012.

In a ballot, 65 per cent of the 1,200 workers at the site rejected the offer, meaning a fourth day of strike action takes place today.

Ian Wright, Unite deputy convenor at Heinz said the offer actually amounted to pay cut, in real terms.

“Heinz must understand the depth of feeling among our members,” he said. “They work hard and Heinz is a vastly wealthy company – it can afford to pay its workers a fair wage. It is in Heinz’s hands now to come back to the negotiating table. Our door remains open but we won’t back down until Heinz dishes up a fair deal.”

Unite says it will now enter into further negotiations with Heinz bosses, with the talks conciliated by independent employer grievance body ACAS.

The union estimates that the strike action has cost Heinz around £3m thus far.