Employees at Greencore in Northampton vote against company's 'insulting' pay increase proposals amidst cost of living crisis

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“We risked our lives going in day in day out so Greencore could make profits, and they treat us like this? It's an insult.”

Employees at Greencore in Northampton are reportedly angry with the company's proposed new contract and pay rates.

On Friday (June 17), 248 out of 400 Moulton Park Greencore employees rejected the company's proposed offer to increase their hourly pay.

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Greencore was also proposing to take away double time pay on Sundays among other changes to employees’ terms and conditions.

Greencore in Moulton Park, NorthamptonGreencore in Moulton Park, Northampton
Greencore in Moulton Park, Northampton

Nicolae Macari, who is the Bakers' Union secretary at Greencore, said: "I believe going forward we will need to sit down again with the company and see if it is willing to negotiate and meet somewhere in the middle.

"Members don't want to change their contracts. Those with older contracts didn't want to change it because they don't want to lose their terms and conditions. As soon as you lose your terms and conditions you will never see them again. The new contract gives more flexibility to the company and less to the employees.

"When the company announced the proposal, it said it was the only one they were going to put on the table and if we will not take it then we will have nothing. I don't call that a negotiation, I call that a threat."

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Nicolae said workers would like to see a pay increase that will help them cope amidst the cost of living crisis.

He said: "When workers worked through Covid they didn't ask for much because they understood it was a tough time for the company. If we take into account Greencore's profits, at least this quarter, then I do not see the problem [with a bigger pay rise].

“Workers just want a little bit more on their hourly pay which will allow them to live on the same level prior to inflation, to be able to pay the bills and put food on the table."

One Greencore employee, who wishes to remain anonymous, said many workers are angry with the negotiations so far.

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The worker said: "Greencore has published its latest profits and yet the company is trying to destroy our terms and conditions. There is a lot of anger here.

"We got the Rose of Northamptonshire award in 2021 because our branch kept on working through Covid. We risked our lives going in day in day out so Greencore could make profits, and they treat us like this? It's an insult.

"Each year profits go up and up but Greencore don't want to pay any decent wages.

"Our bills are sky rocketing. Our gas and electric is going up. Our food prices are going up. Inflation is increasing.

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"I don't know if I will end up using Food Banks, it's possible a lot of us will."

A Greencore spokesman said: "We remain in positive dialogue with the Bakers’ Union. We are at the early stages of our discussions and have further meetings planned. We are hopeful of reaching constructive agreement which benefits all colleagues at our Northampton site.”

The company has reported revenues of £771 million but adjusted operating profit of £17.2 million. Greencore’s profit before tax is around £1.0 million.