Heinz plans fresh Kitt Green strike next week

Posted by Josette Dunn on 20th December 2010

The industrial action at Heinz’s flagship UK production site could rumble on into next week with staff planning another 24-hour strike tomorrow (21 December).

Jennie Formby, national officer for the Unite union, told just-food today that another stoppage was being lined up to take place at the Kitt Green plant from 06:00 on Tuesday until 06:00 on Wednesday.

Workers at the plant in north-west England have already held one 24-hour strike this week after rejecting what they labelled a “below-inflation” 3.3% pay increase this year – and an offer of a hike of 3% or at inflation measured at RPI, whichever is lower, for next year.

Heinz has said its proposals constitute “one of the best pay offers in the industry” and has insisted the terms were equivalent to a 4% increase this year and a 3% increase next year. The baked beans maker has also maintained that next year’s offer equated to an increase of 3.6% to 4.6% due to shift premiums.

Heinz said this afternoon that it was “disappointed” that more strike action was planned for Tuesday. The company said it was “keeping communication channels open” with unions in a bid to resolve the dispute.

The soup maker also insisted there would be “plenty” of beans and soups available despite the stoppages.

Unite’s Formby said she had written to Heinz’s management to see if the company was willing to sit down and discuss the situation.

“I have written to them again to reiterate Unite’s willingness to meet at any time should they be willing to discuss how they can improve the current offer to enable us to find a satisfactory resolution,” she said.

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