Accept new contracts or face redundancy, Fox’s Biscuits staff told
STAFF at Fox’s Biscuits have been told to accept new working terms and conditions, or face the chop.
Its owner, the 2 Sisters Food Group, is amending contracts at several of its companies, which include cuts to sick pay, redundancy pay and overtime and bank holiday pay.
Around 700 people work at the Wellington Street factory, and each of them has received a letter from the group telling them they could be made redundant if they don’t switch to the new contract – a process known as re-engagement.
A 2 Sisters spokesman said redundancy would be a last resort.
He added the company was anticipating ‘positive progress’ in talks with employees and union representatives.
The company is keen to stress it does not want to reduce the overall number of staff at Batley, and is currently recruiting.
Branch secretary of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union (BFAWU) Helena England works on the production floor at Fox’s.
She said the staff were told in January 2 Sisters wanted to reduce or remove some terms and conditions.
The move, which would also see a pay increase of three per cent, has gone to consultation.
Mrs England said: “The problem is, the company has issued us with HR1 redundancy notices.
“This has got a lot of people scared, but we are telling them not to panic as we are in talks with solicitors, who are advising us.”
Mrs England said the union was in talks with the company to try to resolve the issue.
“We are hoping we get something agreed with them before the end of the consultation,” she said.
“We’re never going to suit everybody, but we want to get something where we don’t lose conditions we have fought for in the past.”
BFAWU representatives from Fox’s are meeting with 2 Sisters bosses next Friday.
The 2 Sisters spokesman said the changes to the terms and conditions were necessary to ‘remain competitive’ in what remained a tough biscuits market.
He added: “Our discussions with union and employee representatives have been taking place over several months, with a positive deal on offer which would benefit both the company and our employees, and help to protect the security of Fox’s Biscuits.”
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Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 12 C
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