Row breaks out between unions and bosses at cereal factories

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A row has broken out between Nortants-based food giant Weetabix and unions, who claim that the cereals manufacturer is using “fire and rehire” tactics at its Kettering and Corby plants.

The Unite union says its members at the factories are currently taking strike action four days a week against company moves to “attack their wages and terms and conditions”.

The union estimates this could cost some engineers a loss of wages amounting to £5,000 a year.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “These attacks are totally unjustified. They are a serving of corporate greed. And what’s more, although Weetabix deny it, we have irrefutable evidence that they are using ‘fire and rehire’ strategies.”

However, Stuart Branch, group people and IT director at Weetabix Food Company, hit back. He said: “This reflects Unite’s desire to tie a dispute over our team’s compensation to their wider national agenda. They have used a selective quote from a past communication that does not reflect the truth of what is being said to our team today. They, alongside their union representatives, have been repeatedly reassured that no individual is at risk of dismissal and re-engagement. This is not an option being considered. We have made it clear that roles exist for all our employees thanks to the ongoing investment being made in our UK factories.”