Strikes set to go ahead at Cargill UK confectionery manufacturing facility

Employees at a Cargill UK chocolate production plant at Worksop, Nottinghamshire, are moving ahead with plans to strike over levels of pay, surrounding the peak Christmas manufacturing period, writes Neill Barston.

According to the GMB union, more than a dozen staff are moving ahead with industrial action over in a dispute over wages – with the business stating that a fair pay offer has been put to the those involved.

Earlier national media coverage had stated that the strike could mean a potential festive shortage of chocolate supplied for manufacturing popular Ferrero Rocher lines, but the major brand moved to confirm that it does not in fact source its premium chocolate series from the location.

As the company explained, the Worksop plant has been operational since 2003, and was acquired by Cargill in 2003, where it produces (in bulk liquid form) a full range of milk and plain chocolate, while its factories in Belgium and France offer a complete range of milk, plain and white chocolate in “easymelt” form.

These products are developed for various applications in the confectionery, biscuit, bakery and dairy industries, ranging from “stand alone” recipes for chocolate bars to finely designed recipes which compliment the texture and taste profile of biscuits and cakes.

Cameron Mitchell, GMB Organiser, said: “Workers aren’t demanding gold-wrapped pay-outs, instead they’re asking for a pay packet that covers the bills. “We urge company top brass to urgently back around the table with a fair offer for our members.”

A spokesperson for Cargill confirmed that the business had responded with an offer which it believed to be acceptable: “After unresolved discussions with trade union GMB, a small number of employees at Cargill’s Worksop facility have gone on strike. Cargill has made a fair and market competitive offer to its employees of a 5.5% increase, plus the £1,400 one-off payment.

“We greatly value our employees and the work they do and are disappointed we have not yet come to a settlement with the union. We continue to focus on fulfilling customer orders and use our broad supply chain footprint to minimise any disruptions. As we continue to facilitate meaningful discussions, we ask for your understanding that we do not currently want to issue any further comments. ”

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Confectionery Production