Staff at Jacobs biscuit factory to strike over suspension of sick pay

Hundreds of employees at Liverpool factory plan walkouts after sick pay suspended following company takeover

Jaffa cakes – United biscuits sale
United Biscuits, maker of McVitie’s and Jaffa Cakes and Jacobs, was last week snapped up by a Turkish food group in an £2bn deal. Photograph: Clive Gee/PA

Hundreds of workers at a Liverpool biscuit factory are set to go on strike after voting in a row over sick pay.

Members of the GMB at the Jacobs factory in Aintree backed the walkouts with 84%, with the union planning to announce strike dates soon of the vote.

Stuart Fegan, the GMB national officer, said: “Senior management of United Biscuits have issued a letter to all employees at Aintree unilaterally suspending company sick pay with immediate effect and advising the workforce that they are looking to source the products manufactured at the Aintree site elsewhere.

“GMB is advising the TUC and affiliated unions with members in other plants of the position and asking them to resist any attempts of management to move Aintree’s products to other United Biscuit sites and possibly overseas.”

United Biscuits, maker of McVitie’s and Jaffa Cakes and Jacobs, was last week bought by a Turkish food group in a £2bn deal creating the world’s third-largest biscuit manufacturer.

Yildiz, the new owner, said it would invest in the Middlesex-based firm, which employs 4,600 people in Britain.

The chairman, Murat Ülker, said: “We want to grow United Biscuits to be a global player as part of Yildiz. This will include enhancing its position in the UK, where Yildiz currently has minimal presence, so we will continue to invest in the UK and Europe.”

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