By Gwen Vardigans
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Meadow Foods strikers say, ‘We want more than crumbs’

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Issue 2637
Picketing at Meadow Foods
Picketing at Meadow Foods (Pic: Unite)

Workers at Meadow Foods at Holme-on-Spalding-Moor, East Yorkshire, struck from 6pm last Saturday to 6pm on Tuesday this week.

The Unite union members, who produce chocolate crumb, condensed milk and many dairy products, are fighting over pay.

Unite represents more than half of the plant’s 71 employees. They returned a 78 percent Yes vote to strikes over a shoddy 2 percent pay offer.

Workers want a 3.5 pay rise to keep up with inflation. Meanwhile the firm’s directors have pocketed an 82 percent increase.

Profits at the factory have increased from £10,733,000 in 2017 to £18,025,000.

Unite regional officer Dave Monaghan said, “It’s no wonder that our members are furious at the huge ‘them and us’ disparity between the pay of the bosses compared with those that actually generate the profits.”

The strikers covered the pickets for 24 hours a day by a shift system. They were in good spirits during the strike.

It was their first walkout, despite many having worked there for about three decades.

Lorries were turned away at the gates. A handful of workers crossed picket lines and are working overtime to maintain production.

But ultimately production will decline should the strike be extended.

The message to management is, “Tell us again why you can’t afford to pay workforce 3.5 percent in line with inflation?”

Around 2,500 Unite members covered by the Offshore Contractors Association have accepted by three to one a revised pay offer 4.8 percent for 2019 and 4 percent for 2020.

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