British Sugar workers ‘reluctantly settle’ pay dispute

UNITE members at British Sugar plants across East Anglia have reluctantly accepted a 3.5% pay offer after voting against industrial action by a narrow margin.

UNITE members at British Sugar plants across East Anglia have reluctantly accepted a 3.5% pay offer after voting against industrial action by a narrow margin.

Unite’s 250 members across four British Sugar plants at Bury St Edmunds, Wissington, near King’s Lynn, Cantley, near Great Yarmouth and Newark in Nottinghamshire decided to accept the offer after there was insufficient support for industrial action.

Unite’s regional officer Tony Ellingford said: “Our members have unhappily and reluctantly accepted the company’s pay offer – the decision was taken in the context of the grim economic climate that does not look like improving under the coalition government.

“Our members did hold an industrial action ballot, but it was deemed that there was insufficient support, by a narrow margin, for such action.”


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Unite had been seeking a pay deal equal to Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation for the year April 2011- April 2012 for its members, who include engineers and production staff. They were seeking a 5.5% rise. Members of the GMB union had already accepted the pay offer but Unite members decided to ballot on industrial action.

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