Unite secures 17.5% pay rise for food manufacturing workers

In yet another massive pay rise Unite has won for workers, over 1000 employees at Cadbury are to be awarded a two-year pay deal worth up to 17.5%.

Unite the Union flag

As well as the uplift, employees will receive a 25% pay rise in holiday pay.

Unite members at Cadbury sites across in the UK, in Birmingham, Hereford, Chirk, Wales and Bournville, recorded an 80% vote in favour of the deal.

Cadbury has been fully owned by the US confectionary and food manufacturing giant, Mondelez International – originally Kraft Food – since 2010. When it was bought by Kraft for £11.9bn, the then chief executive Todd Stitzer of Cadbury, stood to pocket cash and shares worth £12m.

At the time, the scale of payments for Stitzer contrasted steeply with the uncertainty facing Cadbury workers over their jobs, as the group’s chairman Roger Carr admitted he prioritised shareholders and redundancies were inevitable.

In response to the recent pay rise, Mondelez International said: “We are pleased to have reached a two-year agreement with Unite for our UK chocolate manufacturing colleagues. This agreement represents an improved overall package including not only base pay but other elements which enable us to both recognise our colleagues’ important contributions but also remain competitive in our manufacturing operations.”

Sharon Graham, general secretary at Unite said: “Where employers can clearly afford to raise pay, we are determined to ensure that they do. Yet again Unite’s focus on improving jobs, pay and conditions is getting results for our members.

“This deal was delivered by the hard work and dedication of Unite’s representatives at Cadbury and the support of Unite members.”

‘Setting the standard’ for food manufacturing

Joe Clarke, national officer for food and drink at Unite, said the deal ‘sets the standard’ for the wider food manufacturing industry.

“Unite negotiated this deal over three months with Cadbury and it sets the standard for the rest of the food manufacturing sector, which is performing very strongly.  

“Unite will be negotiating with other food manufacturing companies in the coming months and we will be bargaining for our members in those workplaces to also receive rises that take into consideration the rising cost of living and high profits of their employers,” said Clarke.

Unite secures series of big pay rises for workers of profitable sectors

The deal for Cadbury workers follows a series of huge pay rises Unite has won in recent weeks.

In June, 300 workers at Gatwick Airport, employed by contractor Wilson James to help passengers with mobility issues, received 28% pay rise backdated to April.

At Glasgow Airport, the union negotiated a 10% pay rise for employees of the OCS Group, also employed to assist with mobility-impaired passengers.

The pay deal with Cadbury also comes as managers at Royal Mail are set to take industrial action in a dispute over further attacks on pay and jobs. The employer plans to cut 700 jobs and slash pay by up to £7,000.

In response to what the union describes as ‘ruinous’ and needless for a business that is ‘awash with cash’, Unite has said 2,500 managers will strike on July 20 – 22.

Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward

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