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British Sugar workers to be balloted on industrial action, after rejecting pay offer


British Sugar workers to be balloted on industrial action, after rejecting pay offer

Unite members at four British Sugar plants in the East of England are to be balloted on industrial action, after the workforce rejected a 3.5 per cent pay offer.

Unite, the largest union in the country, will be balloting its 250 members based at the plants at Wissingham, near Kings Lynn; Cantley, near Great Yarmouth; Bury St Edmunds; and Newark in Nottinghamshire within the next month on whether to take strike action or industrial action short of a strike.

Unite is seeking a pay deal equal to Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation, currently running at five per cent, plus per cent for the year April 2011- April 2012 for its members who include engineers and production staff.

Unite regional officer, Tony Ellingford said: British Sugar is a highly profitable company, and despite their complaints that the sugar beet crop was hit by the bad weather during the winter, they are well able to afford a decent pay rise.

Our members rejected the 3.5 per cent because it was well below the current rate of inflation. Household and energy bills are soaring – and in rural East Anglia with poor public transport links, employees have to use their cars to get to work and are particularly hard pressed by ever-rising petrol costs.

Unite is keen to sit down with management to reach a fair and equitable agreement.

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