Tetley Tea manufacturer Tata Consumer Products has today reached a deal with employees after almost 200 voted to strike over pay in the UK.
Employees at the site in Teesside, north-east England accepted a 7% pay rise backdated to 1 April, the GMB union said today (22 August).
Staff had rejected a deal that GMB said amounted to a real-terms pay cut. Workers – who the union said were predominantly female – voted to strike earlier this month. No strike dates were announced.
“After years of real terms pay cuts, these low-paid, predominantly women workers have stood together and demanded more – and they’ve got it,” GMB organiser Laura Maughan said.
“This pay rise will enable them to support their families and stop relying on food banks.
“These workers should be rightly proud of themselves and Tata should be congratulated for finally listening to their workforce.
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“However, there is still a long way to go in Tetley workers’ fight for pay justice.”
Tata Consumer Products said: “We’re pleased that the continued constructive discussions we’ve had with the unions have reached a positive conclusion with a strong majority acceptance of the revised pay award offered.”
At the time the earlier agreement was rejected, the company described the vote to strike as “disappointing”.
The company said: “We must remain competitive to support the best long-term future for the factory, and our aspirations to grow Tetley’s presence in the UK and overseas. We are continuing to invest in the site to expand its capabilities and deliver more sustainable packaging, improved quality and plant-based teabags.”
Last month, strike dates were confirmed against UK soft drinks manufacturer AG Barr after drivers at an Irn-Bru production and distribution centre in Scotland rejected a 5% increase in wages offered by the owner.