Fox's biscuit workers in pay win

Christmas Fox’s biscuit shortages averted as workers accept improved pay offer

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Strike action by engineers at Fox’s Biscuit factory in Batley Yorkshire has been averted after the workforce accepted an improved pay offer.

The 36 engineers who are members of Unite had voted in favour of strikes in a pay dispute and announced industrial action, which would have disrupted Christmas production.

Following the announcement of industrial action, fresh talks were held and an improved pay offer was made. The workers were balloted on the new offer and it was accepted, ending the dispute.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “This was an important win for a distinctive group of workers who had never taken industrial action previously. Their commitment and determination ensured they secured a greatly improved pay deal.”

Under the deal, the workers will receive a 13.5 per cent pay increase (a 6.5 per cent pay increase backdated to 1 April for this year and a seven per cent increase for next year). The final pay deal was six per cent more than previously offered.

In addition, the workers will see the number of days they have to wait before receiving sick pay reduced from two days to one. They will also receive full sick pay for 10 weeks rather than the current eight weeks. The engineers also received a £100 one off payment for accepting the offer.

Unite regional officer Chris Rawlinson added, “The dispute has built a strong sense of solidarity among our members. The union will be building on this victory, in future pay negotiations and will also seek to secure formal recognition for our members at the company.”

By Barckley Sumner