Cereal shortage on the way as strikes set for Weetabix plants

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Planned strikes at Weetabix’s factories in Northamptonshire will lead to a shortage of some of the UK’s favourite cereals, according to unions.

Staff will begin walk-outs this month in opposition to the company’s plans to fire and rehire them on what the Unite union is calling “vastly inferior” contracts.

The workers based at the company’s factories in Kettering and Corby, face changes to their shift and working patterns which, says Unite, would result in some workers being up to £5,000 a year worse off.

Unite will begin a series of 48 hour strikes on Tuesday 21 September followed by strikes on the same day every week throughout the autumn with the final strike scheduled to begin on Tuesday 30 November.

The union says strikes will cause widespread delays to production and lead to shortages of Weetabix and other popular products made at the factories including Alpen, Weetos and Oatibix.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The idea of ‘fire and rehire’ is abhorrent to me.

“If Weetabix decide to go down this route and they overstep the line then I will absolutely defend our members.”

Strike action was originally scheduled for June but was postponed to allow for in-depth talks with the employer. Those talks led to new proposals being put to the workers but were rejected by 82% in a consultative ballot.

TheBusinessDesk.com has contacted Weetabix for comment.