Workers at the Heinz Kitt Green site in Wigan have voted overwhelmingly to strike over pay. The 1,200 members of the Unite union are now set to strike for 24 hours from 10pm on Wednesday of next week.
The plant turns out over one billion cans of product a year, manufacturing soup, beans and pasta meals.
Workers are angry that they were offered a below inflation pay offer of 3.3 percent this year, while shareholders got big bonuses.
Despite the recession, the company has paid a dividend of over 9 percent to its shareholders.
Heinz has also announced that its operating income grew by 9.9 percent this year—to nearly £255 million.
“Some 90 percent of people voted for strikes, which is fantastic,” Ian Wright, Unite’s deputy convenor at the site, told Socialist Worker.
“The vote is the best Christmas present I could have asked for.
“The strike is going to be supplemented by a full overtime ban.
“The union is going to hold a members’ meeting this Saturday to inform people about the next steps in the campaign.”
The national meeting of the United Left group in the Unite union set for last Saturday was postponed due to the bad weather. A new date will be set for the meeting in the near future.