A ballot for industrial action over a ‘paltry’ pay offer is looming at pub giant Greene King which has being taken over by CK Asset Holdings.
The threat of industrial action comes as Unite redoubles its effort for clarity on reassurances over job security, following this week’s overwhelming approval by shareholders of the £4.6bn takeover of Greene King which has 3,000 pubs.
Unite has told the management at the firm’s Suffolk headquarters in Bury St Edmunds that it is preparing for an industrial action ballot after about 200 members in the brewing and brands department rejected a two per cent offer for the year 2019/2020.
Altogether Unite has more than 250 members, including draymen, brewery production staff and warehouse workers, at the brewery which was founded in 1799. Unite’s members are in Bury St Edmunds, as well as at distribution centres in Abingdon, Oxfordshire and Eastwood, Nottinghamshire.
Unite regional officer Mark Jaina said: “Our members are fed up with being palmed off with a paltry two per cent rise which has been the norm for the last six or seven years.
“That figure is way below the soaring cost of living and, as a result, our members have seen a serious erosion of their incomes in real terms during that period.
“A new senior management team is playing hardball and Unite won’t tolerate this insulting treatment on pay. We expect to start balloting for industrial action by the end of the month.
“We are also seeking further clarity on future job security now that the takeover has been overwhelmingly approved by Greene King shareholders.
“We have had two meetings with management since the takeover was revealed in August, but the information disclosed, so far, is scanty, despite media reports that pub closures could be on the cards.”