Socialist Worker

Purina petfoods: Pay rise? Have some free cat food instead

Issue No. 2008

Factory workers in the GMB union went on strike last weekend for 24 hours after they were offered free pet food as part of an “improved“ pay deal.

The 250 production workers at Nestle’s Purina factory in Cambridgeshire, which makes Winalot and Felix pet foods, rejected the deal after being “absolutely staggered” by it.

Workers at the factory called off a planned strike earlier this month after the company said it was willing to improve on its 2.3 percent offer.

Talks between the company and union officials were restarted but collapsed after negotiators were told there was no more money on offer, but staff would be allowed to take home free pet food as a part of their pay package.

The workers are staging a series of 12-hour stoppages.

Alan Costello, GMB regional organiser, said the union was obliged to put the new offer to members but there was no improvement on the 2.3 percent pay increase previously rejected.

According to one production worker, “Until recently all employees were allowed to have free pet food on a Friday.

“Suddenly, one sunny day the management put up notices saying that we could have the pet food, but we would have to pay for it.

“Now Nestle want to include the offer of free pet food in our wage negotiations.

“It’s a joke.”

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Sat 8 Jul 2006, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 2008
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