Management at Valeo Confectionery in York, which produces Fox’s Glacier Mints and Poppets, along with sweets for high street stores including Marks and Spencer, has told staff they will be fired and re-hired unless they agree to a new contract that reduces their holiday and pay, according to union GMB.
James Cooper, GMB branch secretary in York, told local media: “We’re asking for support to force this company to respect our members’ rights, not change their terms and conditions.
“Fair pay so they can afford to feed their families. All they want is to be treated with respect – they are treated as second class citizens all because of the colour hairnet they wear.”
Union members went on strike earlier this week in the ongoing dispute over pay – and other GMB members from the nearby Nestlé factory in York joined the picket line in solidarity, according to local reports.
GMB organiser Katherine Mitchell told the local press its members did not make the decision to take industrial lightly, but inflation and the rising cost of living had left them so worse off that many had to choose between buying food or heating their homes.
“Valeo is profitable thanks to the hard work and commitment of our members, and they deserve to have this recognised through decent rates of pay and having the terms and conditions respected,” she said.
A spokesperson for Valeo Confectionery said: “We have engaged in very constructive conversations with our colleagues as part of a routine annual pay review process however a very limited number of employees have made the decision to take industrial action. The site will continue to operate as normal.”