The UK faces Weetabix shortage as workers go on strike. Workers will now only work one day a week while the strike continues.
Weetabix has been accused of “fire and rehire attacks” on its staff by the Unite union. Strike action has escalated. Supplies of the breakfast cereal could be threatened in the UK.
Since September workers have been striking on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. This has now escalated and will include Wednesdays and Thursdays. Staff are striking over issues with their pay and conditions.
The four-day strikes will continue until an agreement is made between the company and its workers.
Speaking to The Metro a spokesperson for the Weetabix Food Company commented: “We are working hard to minimise disruptions to our operations.
“We have a naturally resilient supply chain and have robust planning in place to help mitigate any shortages as a result of the strikes.”
The previous one-day strikes did not cause any shortages but caused issues and delays.
Sharon Graham is the Unite general secretary. She commented: “Weetabix is making bumper profits so there is no justification for these “fire and rehire” attacks on our members’ wages and conditions. They are just not swallowing what in reality is a serving of corporate greed.
“Unite will not accept attacks on our members’ jobs, pay and conditions, and Weetabix should expect this dispute to continue escalating until fire and rehire is dropped.”
Weetabix has disputed the claims made by Unite. Weetabix Food Company IT director Stuart Branch stated: “For 90 years we’ve maintained a strong and productive relationship with our workforce across Northamptonshire to create a world-leading cereal manufacturing capability.
“We’re concerned to see that our reputation is being damaged in service of Unite’s national campaign on “fire and rehire”, which is irrelevant to the current industrial action at Weetabix.”
He added: “We have repeatedly reassured our engineering team and their union representatives that no individual is at risk of dismissal, and that roles exist for all thanks to our ongoing investment in our UK factories.
“The current discussions with our team focus on a request for compensation for a change in shift patterns.
“As these changes are permitted under their existing contracts we will not be paying for them as it would be unfair to our other employees.
“We are extremely proud of the efforts of our 1,000-strong British workforce, and have paid two additional bonuses over the last year to reflect their hard work throughout the pandemic.”
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