Dispute over workers’ pay

Workers in dispute over pay at Caledonian Produce in Boness
Workers in dispute over pay at Caledonian Produce in Boness

Hundreds of workers at a food manufacturing site in Bo’ness have threatened industrial action because of a dispute over pay.

GMB Scotland members at Caledonian Produce were balloted last Wednesday and the union said over 90 per cent voted to reject a 2.2 per cent pay increase.

The offer was below the consumer price index rate of 2.9 per cent which measures the cost of living.

The Bo’ness site employs around 1300 people and is a subsidiary of the international food manufacturing giant Bakkavor, which produces salads and ready meals for M&S, Tesco and Waitrose.

Last year Bakkavor, the largest provider of freshly prepared produce in the UK, generated over £1.7 billion.

GMB senior organiser Drew Duffy said: “This is a resounding rejection of Bakkavor’s below inflation pay offer by GMB members and it really shouldn’t come as a surprise to the management.

“The rising cost of living and squeeze on wages in the UK have been well documented and an employer like Bakkavor should be more than able to make work pay for its employees.

“Management should listen to the clear concerns of our members over their pay and bring forward an improved pay offer if it wants to avoid the prospect of industrial action.”

A spokesperson for Bakkavor said: “We have offered our colleagues at Caledonian Produce a competitive proposal. We are currently reviewing the results of the GMB’s ballot at this time and we urge the union to work with us in order to reach a swift conclusion.”