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Uniting Food, Farm and Hotel Workers World-Wide

UK's UNITE reaches improved collective agreement at Scottish & Newcastle

Posted to the IUF website 24-Aug-2007

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On 22 August, British IUF-affiliated UNITE union (T&G section) won an three-year improved pay agreement at Scottish & Newcastle (S&N) brewery in Reading, Berkshire. Of the 300 workers and union members at the plant, 97,3% voted to accept the offer, consisting of a 5.1% pay rise in the first year and +0.5% increases on top of the inflation rate in the following two years.

On 6 August, 90% of Unite membership at the plant had voted in favour of taking industrial action, had S&N insisted in cutting the longstanding practice at the plant of linking basic pay rate to skills, shift pay and overtime pay. The compelling demonstration of union strength at the plant convinced management to resolve the dispute at the negotiating table accepting to re-establish the linkage between basic pay and other compensation rates.

The Berkshire brewery produces about 6.5m hectolitres beer among which Foster's, Kronenbourg and Budweiser and operates 7 days a week. Unite is the UK's largest union in the brewing industry.

On the day after the conclusion of the agreement at S&N, Mick Pollek, Unite regional industrial organizer, expressed fraternal solidarity with the struggle of the Australian colleagues at Foster's Yatala brewery, where management is denying a union-agreement despite overwhelming union support (for a background, click here).

To read Unite's solidarity letter with Yatala workers click here.