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Greencore workers to begin strike action after company fails to offer decent wage to workers

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Workers at convenience foods producer, Greencore, are to begin strike action over poverty-levels of pay from their employer, Unite announced today (September 1).

Over 500 workers, many earning as little as £10.53 an hour, are demanding increased pay. Following the failure of Greencore to make an improved offer, workers have been left with no choice but to head to the picket line. Strikes will begin on 11 September and last until 9 October.

Greencore is a major supplier of sandwiches and ready meals to big supermarkets like Morrisons, Asda, Aldi, Lidl and Co-Op as well as high street retailers like Boots. The industrial action will likely see a shortage of sandwiches on the shelves for consumers.

Unite members perform a range of vital roles at Greencore including factory line workers, quality controllers, store workers and cleaners. Greencore’s last accounts show profits of over £15 million.

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, said, “Greencore workers do difficult work to ensure that sandwiches reach supermarket shelves across the country. Yet their employer, whilst making substantial profits, sees fit not to share the spoils with its workers.”

“Our members will have the unceasing support of Unite in their fight for improved pay.”

Pay strikes at Norwich hospital and Norfolk health centres intensify

Pay strikes at hospitals and health centres across Norwich and Norfolk will intensify next week, Unite said today (September 1).

There will be significant disruption impacting on patients, as workers employed by Norse Commercial Services take further strike action in the dispute over pay.

The workers, who are members of Unite undertake critical maintenance duties for all Norfolk Community and Health Care Trusts’ hospitals and health centres.

The workers have rejected a four per cent pay increase, which is a substantial real terms pay cut with the current true inflation rate (RPI) standing at nine per cent. Industrial relations have further deteriorated as Norse has imposed the four per cent increase and blamed the hospital trust for not being prepared to increase payments on the contract.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “Norse’s Norfolk workforce undertake critical roles keeping the county’s hospitals and health centres functioning. It is absolutely unacceptable that they have been offered a significant real terms pay cut.

“Norse and Norfolk Community and Health Care Trust’s must stop blaming each other and make sure our members are offered an acceptable pay increase.”

First Manchester and GMAT bus strikes suspended as workers ballot on new offers

Oldham bus strikes, by members of Unite employed at First Manchester, will be suspended next week (4, 5, 6, 7, 8 September) to allow workers to be balloted on an improved deal. 

Strike action plans by Greater Manchester Accessible Transport (GMAT) workers have also been put on hold to allow Unite members to be balloted on a better offer.  

Unite regional officer Colin Hayden said,“Following improved offers from First Manchester and GMAT, Unite has, as an act of good faith, suspended strikes while our members are balloted on the new deals.”

Fresh strike action will be scheduled if the workers reject the new deals. 

Workers at Lincat Lincoln commercial kitchen maker to strike over pay

More than 100 workers based at commercial kitchen manufacturer Lincat will begin pay strikes next week, Unite said today (September 1).

The low paid workers have rejected a split pay deal that would see wages increase by five per cent back paid from January until June this year and then a further six month pay deal of eight per cent from June. Higher paid workers have been offered tiered pay rises, none of which reached eight per cent.

The deals offered to all workers are real terms pay cuts when the true rate of inflation, RPI, stands at nine per cent.

Lincat’s skilled workforce have suffered years of erosion to the value of their wages. Hourly pay, which for most is £12.03, used to be substantially above the minimum wage but over successive years that gap has continued to shrink. 

According to its latest financial returns, Lincat raked in operating profits of £8.9 million for the year to January 2022. The company is part of the US-based Middleby corporation, which brought in revenues of over $1 billion in the second quarter of 2023. 

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “Lincat and its owner Middleby are rolling in cash, yet their Lincoln workers have seen the value of their wages fall for years on end. What was a reasonably paid job is now a poorly paid one – this is just greed on the part of Lincat. Unite never accepts attacks on our members’ jobs, pay or conditions and the workforce at Lincat will receive their union’s absolute backing as they strike for a fair pay rise.”

Compiled by UniteLive team