Oxford

Barry Callebaut factory staff in Banbury to strike

Generic picture of chocolate being made
Image caption Managers say that previous action had not stopped work at the chocolate factory

Chocolate factory workers in Oxfordshire are to take part in industrial action after their union failed to agree a pay rise.

More than 100 Unite members at the Barry Callebaut factory in Banbury intend take part in two 24-hour strikes on Friday and Monday.

The workforce has already walked out twice after over claims of unfair pay and a refusal by managers to negotiate.

But the company says there have been negotiations since March.

A spokesman for Barry Callebaut, which produces moulded and liquid chocolate for companies including Cadbury, Nestle and Hershey, said different options have been discussed with its workforce.

He added: "We feel that we have made a fair proposition with our latest offer and indeed we are keen to reach a settlement and are available to meet with the Union representatives to that end."

'Whopping pay rise'

Mick Polleck, Unite regional officer said: "Profits are up, but instead of awarding the loyal workforce with a fair pay deal the company is dragging its heels and refusing to negotiate.

"With the top boss pocketing a whopping 79% pay rise for 2011 and other workers getting a 2% pay rise, it is little wonder that our members' patience has run out.

"They have vowed to fight until they get a pay deal that reflects the contribution they have made to the company's success."

Mangers said the previous action had not stopped production at the company's operation in Banbury.

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