Workers expose Quorn’s tattered ethical credentials

Striking Quorn Teesside staff reject billion pound business’s pay ‘cut’ amid protest at Plant Based World Expo

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London’s Plant Based World Expo were warned that Quorn is not the ethical business it claims to be by protestors today (November 30).

The protest was in support of Quorn’s Billingham factory workers who have been on strike over pay since September.

The expo is being sponsored by Quorn and a representative from the company was speaking at the event.

More than 60 workers at the factory voted to strike after rejecting a mean four per cent pay offer plus a one off £1,000 payment. With the real rate of inflation, RPI, at 14.2 per cent this means a hefty pay cut amid rocketing living costs.

Unite, the workers’ union, says that Quorn and its parent company can well afford a fair pay rise.

Quorn’s turnover for the year ending 31 December 2021 was £224.9 million and the company made pre-tax profits of £7.36 million. The company is owned by Philippines-based Monde Nissin, which brought in record revenues of more than £1 billion during the same period. Quorn’s highest paid director, Marco Bertacca, was paid over £1 million.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “Quorn so-called ethical credentials are looking very tattered today. It is part of a billion-pound business that can well afford to pay fairly but is instead offering an effective pay cut to UK workers. This is unacceptable to Unite. Unless Quorn returns to the negotiating table with an acceptable offer our protests and strikes will continue.”

The striking workers, including fermenter and chiller technicians, maintenance and laboratory staff and effluent treatment plant staff, are highly skilled and vital to the running of the meat free paste production factory in Billingham, County Durham.

By Ryan Fletcher