The employer is accused of failing to consult properly over redundancies and offering unfavourable terms and conditions to its existing workforce.
Below is a sample of the newsletter being issued by Unite.
Please send messages of support to the convenor Pete Ford.
CONSULTATION NOT EVEN HALF WAY THROUGH
- WHY START INDIVIDUAL CONSULTATION??
The 12 week consultation is less than half way through but management have told us they will start individual consultation on 6th June – this is totally unacceptable when we still have seven weeks left of the consultation.
We believe that attendance should be voluntary, but if you do attend we strongly suggest you should:
Insist on having a shop steward present
Simply listen to what is said and then seek advice from your union afterwards – do not commit yourself to anything
We believe management are doing this to make you believe there is no alternative to their plans – something they constantly repeat in all their communications - and in fact they’ve told members a lot of things that need to be challenged so we’ll answer some of those points here.
Bank holidays worth more than back pay
Management is saying that if their proposals were accepted, we would get £211 in back pay. However, if we get our bank holidays back and work the two Jubilee holidays we would get double time and a day off on pay for each. This works out at £6.44 x 7.5hrs x 2 (double time) x 2days = bank holidays – no wonder our members want their conditions back!
£193.20 plus 2 days off on full pay. This is just for the two bank holidays
Is there a need for redundancies?
Absolutely not Unite believes that the threat of redundancies is being used as a weapon by management to frighten you into accepting their proposals. The company has made over 60 agency workers permanent in the last 12 months and is has been taking on more agency workers every week, so they can’t argue we’ve got too many workers on site.
And just to stress – We raised this with HR last week, they didn’t deny it so don’t be fooled by threats of losing your job.
It is not legal to make people redundant and replace them with agency workers!
Why hasn’t Unite put forward any new alternatives yet?
That’s easy! Management hasn’t proved to us that there is any financial need to take the drastic action that they’ve proposed. This is why Unite’s financial expert is looking at much more detailed company financial information from Greencore’s finance officer; this will help us to know the truth of what is being said – and put forward alternatives.
This is the whole point of consultation, we must be given time to do a professional job on this.
The truth about the notice boards!
Management says they haven’t banned the Union from using the notice boards -
In a meeting with Unite, Dominic Kerrigan clearly stated that this was a ‘war’, that the company was going to win and that we could not use notice boards or put leaflets on canteen tables. He has since changed his position and said we can use these facilities so long as they are approved by the company for accuracy or tone, but it will be interesting to see whether any of our newsletters do in fact get approved.
And what about the ‘Employee Welfare Officer’?
The company’s attempts to explain this away are frankly laughable and the reasons for creating this position have changed since we first challenged it. Management told us last week that as the role of Convenor was contractual, when Di Mulligan was voted out of office they had to find an alternative position for a limited time until something substantive became available. Now they say it’s
‘to provide union and non-union employees with a mechanism forgaining advice and guidance on employment issues”.
This is a blatant attempt to undermine union democracy –if the union votes a convenor out of office, for management to give them a job with the same role is a disgrace
And of course it is also a complete breach of all equality requirements – it wasn’t advertised in any way so where’s the fairness?