‘Tainted’ Weetabix sparks nationwide fire and rehire protests

Weetabix workers are set to strike in supermarkets across the UK in protest at the company’s alleged “fire and rehire” practices.

From October 25, workers from its Kettering and Corby factories will strike and occupy supermarkets nationwide to demonstrate the brand’s “tarnished” reputation. 

It comes as the cereal giant reportedly prepares to “fire” 80 of its engineers then “rehire” them on worse terms. 

The move, if carried out, will result in changes to workers’ shift patterns which is estimated to cost them approximately £5000 a year in lost wages.

READ MORE: Weetabix workers cancel ‘fire and rehire’ strike

According to trade union Unite, Weetabix has recorded a “strong” performance since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The company reported a five per cent turnover of £345 million and a 20 per cent growth in profits of £82 million.   

“Shoppers will want to know that Weetabix has tainted its good name by attacking our members’ living standards while raking in massive profits,” Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said. 

“Weetabix believes it can steamroll a loyal and hardworking staff into accepting worse wages, pensions and conditions by threatening them with the sack. 

“Unite won’t accept that.” 

A spokesperson for Weetabix commented: “We are disappointed that Unite is arranging protests against Weetabix as part of its ‘End Fire and Rehire’ campaign.

“We have continuously asked the Union to stop using the ‘Fire and Rehire’ reference because it is unfair and inaccurate to compare the discussions we are having with our engineers to other disputes that require employees to sign new contracts or face dismissal; this is not something we are considering.

“The changes we are proposing to our ways of working are necessary for us to stay competitive for the future, helping safeguard British jobs and deliver future shared success.”

 

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