Breakthrough In Nestle Pay Talks

3 Dec 2010

A lengthy wrangle over pay at Nestlé’s York factory has ended with hundreds of workers accepting increases in basic pay and bonus payments.

The threat of industrial action has hung over the confectionery plant for most of this year, after the company initially said it wanted to freeze wages and then entered protracted negotiations with unions. Union members rejected this and went through “straw poll ballots” in favour of a ballot for industrial action.

Now more than 500 members of the GMB and Unite unions have voted overwhelmingly to accept a two year deal.

Steve Huckerby, of the GMB, said the settlement meant:

• A 1.5 per cent basic pay rise for 2010, backdated to January.

• A 1.5 per cent bonus, payable before Christmas.

• An additional three per cent bonus, payable by next March if profits hit targets.

• A three per cent basic pay rise for 2011, payable from November 1 this year.

“It’s a reasonable settlement,” he said. “We are satisfied with it.”

At one stage, the unions said they would hold a national ballot – the first at Nestlé plants across the UK, with members at Girvan, Fawdon, Halifax, Castleford, Dalston and Hayes joining colleagues in York in the vote. But they then switched back to local negotiations and the settlement applies only to York staff.

The company confirmed that it had reached the settlement but said another 4.5 per cent bonus would be payable next year subject to hitting targets, and said that the next settlement date would be January 1, 2012.