Strike threat at Gaymer Cider dropped after pay resolution

The threat of strike action at Gaymer Cider's Somerset facility has been dropped following a resolution to the dispute over pay.

More than 100 production workers at the Shepton Mallet site have been offered an unconditional 3% pay increase by company owner C & C Group, following claims they had not received a payrise since 2010.

The dispute started earlier this month after management had made the wage increase offer on the condition of a pay freeze for 2013-14, causing the dispute.

Unite regional officer Hugh Kirkbride, who has been overseeing the dispute said the reinstatement of the pay offer is a victory for worker solidarity.

“The threat of industrial action forced the company to put the three per cent offer back on the table and also to withdraw any pre-conditions about future negotiations over pay. It has been a victory for worker solidarity,” he said.

Mr Kirkbride added there will now be further talks about changes in production and working patterns, in the presence of conciliation service Acas.

“The union goes into these negotiations with our heads held high – and we wish to engage in these talks in a constructive and positive manner.”

Deb Kennedy, head of manufacturing and technical at C&C Group, said: “We are clearly very pleased that common sense has won the day and that the possibility of industrial action at Shepton Mallet Cider Mill has been averted.”