JDE 'fire and rehire' dispute latest

Banbury coffee workers to vote on deal that removes ‘fire and rehire’ plan, Unite announces

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Workers at JDE (Jacobs Douwe Egberts) in Banbury, Oxfordshire will be balloted on a new pay and employment conditions’ package that removes the management’s proposal to ‘fire and rehire’ staff, Unite the union said today (July 19).

Unite and the management have held three weeks of intensive talks in a bid to resolve the dispute affecting 291 employees at the Ruscote Avenue site which had seen a rolling programme of industrial action, currently suspended.

The details of the package will remain confidential while it is communicated to Unite’s members this week. There will then be a ballot of the workers on whether to accept the deal which should be completed by the end of the first week of August.

The key components of the package include removal of the management’s controversial ‘hire and fire’ proposal; safeguarding pay and employment conditions; and generous compensation if an employee has to change shifts.

Unite national officer for the food industry Joe Clarke said, “We have had three weeks of intensive negotiations with the management. We have now hammered out a package safeguarding pay and employment conditions for our members.

 “We believe that this is the best deal that can be achieved through negotiations and we will be recommending acceptance to our members,” he added.

 “The details of the package, which remain confidential, will be communicated to our members by Unite officers and reps this week,” Clarke continued. “We then intend to hold a ballot on the proposals in the following fortnight.

 “I would like to pay heartfelt tribute to our members, their families and the wider Banbury community for the tremendous level of support and solidarity they have demonstrated during the course of this dispute – that support was a major contributor in obtaining the deal we now have and shows what can be achieved if working people stick together in adversity.”

By Shaun Noble

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