Meadow Foods: Chocolate ingredient workers go on strike

Meadow Foods in Holme-on-Spalding-Moor
Image caption A product called chocolate crumb is made at the site

Workers at a firm that makes a dairy ingredient for milk chocolate have gone on strike over a "shoddy pay offer".

Four days of strike action began at 18:00 GMT on Saturday, when workers at Meadow Foods at Holme-on-Spalding-Moor, East Yorkshire, walked out.

It was in response to a 2% pay offer, which the Unite union said was below the cost of living.

The firm said its offer was fair and was supported by the majority of its 300 workers across three sites.

Chocolate crumb, a vacuum dried, crystallized mixture made from milk, sugar and cocoa liquor, is produced at the Holme-on-Spalding-Moor site, where Meadow Foods said it employed 75 people - 40 of whom are members of Unite.

Unite's regional officer Dave Monaghan said: "Our members have overwhelmingly rejected a shoddy 2% pay offer."

He said the union was calling for a 3.5% rise to keep pace with inflation.

"This modest demand is in sharp and glaring contrast with the excessive 82% increase the company directors pocketed, as highlighted in the latest accounts," he added.

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In a statement, the firm said it was involved in pay negotiations with a small number of unionised employees at the site.

"We are a fair and generous employer with no history of industrial action and hope to get this matter resolved as soon as possible," it said.

The firm said it had given a 2% pay rise for the past 10 years, adding that it did not expect the strike action to have a "significant impact on our customers".

The action is due to end at 18:00 on Tuesday.

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