Workers at Tunnock’s biscuit factory in Uddingston, Lanarkshire, have officially rejected an unconditional offer of a back-dated 2% pay increase, after the results of a postal ballot were announced on Monday 4 October.
Staff at the factory went on a 24-hour strike last month in a dispute over pay, and a continuous overtime ban and work-to-rule action were put in place.
A spokesperson for Unite said last month that its members had been angered by “misleading information”, allegedly put out by Tunnock’s, which claimed the union had rejected its offer, when, at that point, no offer had been made.
However Tunnock’s, which produces teacakes and caramel wafers, said: “Contrary to earlier reports, the offer of a full 2% backdated to 1 July 2010 was made on the 15 September, but it was conditional on the Union Negotiating Committee recommending their members to accept it.
“The Union refused to recommend the offer, but as far as we understand from our workforce, the fact that a conditional offer was made at all, was poorly communicated to them. An unconditional offer of 2% was subsequently made to the workforce through ACAS on the morning of 21 September.”
The firm said it was obviously disappointed with the outcome of the ballot as it believed its offer represented a fair pay award, particularly in the current climate.
MD Boyd Tunnock commented: “As a family, we have demonstrated our commitment to our workforce and our community by providing long-term, secure and stable employment – reflected by the fact that the average length of service is 16 years – and our aim is to continue to do so.”
“Our staff’s level of pay is in line with, or above, our local competitors and they also enjoy a generous benefits package,” he added. “We are currently considering our response to this disappointing result.”
Speaking last month, Unite regional officer Derek Ormston said: “The members feel let down and angry and believe the 2% increase does not go far enough.”
The firm has agreed to meet with the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitra-tion Service on Friday 8 October to discuss the ongoing dispute.