Industrial relations

York confectionery workers to go on strike over low pay

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Valeo confectionery is home to a range of classic British brands. Pic: Valeo
Valeo confectionery is home to a range of classic British brands. Pic: Valeo

Related tags Valeo Foods

Staff at the Valeo sweet factory in York have voted to take industrial action over low pay and holidays.

The GMB union criticised the company for not allowing for the rising cost of living and inflation in the UK.

Valeo also informed union bosses that it wanted to end collective bargaining at the York site. Lowest paid workers would also be excluded from a one-off payment, with others in the business set to lose two days holiday a year.

The union said it will meet with members to discuss dates for industrial action. Valeo’s portfolio of classic British confectionery includes Fox’s Glacier Mints, Mint Humbugs and Poppets.

Katherine Mitchell, GMB organiser, told local media: “The deal has been overwhelmingly rejected twice by workers at the York site. The company has refused to increase the offer, despite an improved offer being made to workers at the sister plant in Pontefract.    

“GMB members have kept the company and production going throughout the pandemic - all they are asking for is a fair deal. They have been left with no option but to take strike action.   

“There is still time for the company to get back round the negotiating table before industrial action begins. GMB urges them to do just that, for the good of the workers and morale at the site.”

In a statement, a spokesman for Valeo Foods said: "We are currently engaged in very constructive conversations with our colleagues as part of a routine annual pay review process however it would be inappropriate for us to comment on the specifics of that dialogue​."

The recent dispute follows a strike by GMB members in 2016, when it was owned by Tangerine Confectionery. Valeo took over the company in 2018.

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