Dispute grows over cake factory wages

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staff at a West Yorkshire business are facing an uncertain future as bosses look to axe eight jobs and change shift patterns.

Workers at the McVities Cake Company in Halifax are being consulted on the next steps in a dispute which union representatives claim could see them losing up to £3,000 a year in wages.

The 40 staff are angry at management plans to change their shift patterns and also the threat of job losses at the plant which makes products including cakes and cake bars, said Unite. The union said that staff could see their pay packets slump by between £3,100 and £4,400.

Unite regional officer Sarah Mitchell said industrial action cannot be ruled out. “We have had lengthy talks with the company over the proposed changes which have now ended. However, our members can’t afford to take a £3,000 ‘hit’ to their pay packets when household bills are going through the roof. The company is pressing ahead with the voluntary redundancy programme and the changes in the shift patterns regardless, and Unite will be consulting its members in the coming week about the next steps in this dispute,” she said.

A United Biscuits spokesman said: “The proposals are part of our ongoing commitment to delivering modern, efficient and competitive operations at Halifax, and seek to further improve efficiency and effectiveness at the site. During the consultation period, discussions have been held with employees and union representatives.

“The proposals envisage a maximum of eight roles will be redundant and approximately 30 roles in total would be affected by changes to shift patterns. Wherever possible we will look to minimise the impact of the restructure for employees and there are ten vacant roles in other parts of the business identified as potential redeployment opportunities.”