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24 January 2014, 12:24 | Updated: 24 January 2014, 12:34
Workers at the Gaymer Cider Company in Shepton Mallett are celebrating after they agreed to a three per cent pay offer.
More than 100 production workers at the Kilver Street site, who were taking part in an industrial action ballot in the dispute, have accepted the offer by management of a three per cent pay rise for 2012-13.
Unite regional officer Hugh Kirkbride said:
“The company has put the three per cent offer back on the table and the three shifts at the site have now voted to accept this offer.
The threat of industrial action forced the company to put the three per cent offer back on the table and also to withdraw any pre-conditions about future negotiations over pay. It has been a victory for worker solidarity.
The company now wants to start negotiations about changes in production and working patterns. It has been agreed that the conciliation service, ACAS will be involved in these talks from the start and that key decision makers in the company will be around the table.
The union goes into these negotiations with our heads held high - and we wish to engage in these talks in a constructive and positive manner.”
Gaymer Cider is owned by the C&C Group plc and is the second largest cider maker in the world. The site’s brands include Gaymers Original, Olde English and Blackthorn.
Deb Kennedy, Head of Manufacturing and Technical, C&C Group, said:
“We are clearly very pleased that common sense has won the day and that the possibility of industrial action at Shepton Mallet Cider Mill has been averted.
Our proposed original unconditional 3% pay increase for 2012 and 0% for 2013 was exceptional in the current economic climate and we look forward to working with UNITE and its members here towards achieving a satisfactory negotiated settlement on 2014 pay, conditions, working practices and training that will position our staff well to support the ambitions we share for the Shepton Mallet site.”