If workers accept the new terms many would lose up to £5,000 a year in wages, Unite has claimed. The workers taking industrial action are all members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, are based at the company’s factories at Burton Latimer and Corby in Northamptonshire. Both sites will have picket lines in place.

Jacobs Douwe Egberts recently agreed a pay deal with Unite after a spat with the trade union last month over a similar ‘fire and rehire’ strategy​.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite’s members at Weetabix will not accept being fired and rehired. Unite will fight to defend our members affected by this disgraceful practice. It is abhorrent that it is legal for companies, like Weetabix, to issue ‘fire and rehire’ ultimatums to their staff.

‘Totally unjustifiable’
“This is a totally unjustifiable assault on workers’ wages and conditions. Last year Weetabix’s profits went up by almost 20% to more than £81m.”
The strike on Tuesday is scheduled to last for 48 hours, with a further 48 hour strike planned from Tuesdays throughout the autumn and the final strike scheduled to begin on Tuesday 30 November. 

A spokesperson from the Weetabix Food Company said: “We are sorry to see our engineering team going on strike, but respect their right to do so. Over nearly 90 years we’ve built a strong relationship with our workforce, and to stay competitive for the next 90 years we need to bring in necessary new ways of working.

“It is unfair and inaccurate to compare this with other disputes that require new contracts to be signed or face dismissal; this is not a choice we’re considering at present. We remain in close consultation with our engineers and their representatives and are confident that the opportunity still exists to find a resolution that creates future shared success.

Source: foodmanufacture.co.uk