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Barry Callebaut hikes pay for 200 chocolate factory workers

Written by: Rod Addy, Food Manufacture
Published on: 9 Aug 2022

Barry Callebaut - Article

Chocolate supplier Barry Callebaut has implemented a 10% pay increase for 200 workers at its Banbury factory in Oxfordshire in agreement with trade union Unite.

The union said the one-year deal pay deal was secured without the need for industrial action and meant the production operatives and technicians would see salaries, bonuses and pensions all increase by 10%. 

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “When employers can afford to put forward a decent pay rise, we are determined to ensure that they do. Once again, Unite’s total focus on boosting jobs, pay and conditions has been delivered for our members. This deal could not have been achieved without the efforts of our representatives at Barry Callebaut and the support of Unite members.” 

The Banbury factory produces chocolate and cocoa products for high-profile companies including Cadbury, Nestlé and Mars.

'Fair and equitable'

Unite regional officer Chris Moon said: “This pay deal represents a fair and equitable increase to keep our members’ earnings in line with the cost-of-living crisis pressures they are facing. It also recognises the company’s strong performance following COVID and the loyalty of its workforce throughout that difficult period.”

In contrast, 1,900 workers are expected to strike at the port of Felixstowe later this month after the Felixstowe Dock & Railway Company did not improve on its offer of a 7% pay increase. Negotiations continue, but if unsuccessful, the industrial action is expected to cause considerable disruption to the UK food and drink supply chain. Budweiser workers staged a 36-hour strike in July in a pay dispute.

Meanwhile, on 21 July, Parliament passed legislation making it legal for employers to replace striking staff with agency workers. GMB union general secretary Gary Smith called the new law 'shameful'. Mick Lynch, general secretary of the rail, maritime and transport union has called for a general strike if Liz Truss carries out threats to further curtail union power as Prime Minister.