Striking Jacob’s workers to return to work

More than 750 striking workers at the Jacob’s factory in Liverpool will return to work after agreeing a new pay deal. Tony McDonough reports

Jacob’s cracker and biscuit factory in Liverpool


More than 750 workers at the Jacob’s cracker and biscuit factory will return to work this week after agreeing to accept a new pay offer.

Staff at the site in Aintree were in their fourth week of an all-out strike in a dispute over pay. However, in the last few days Jacob’s owner Pladis had put forward a new pay deal. 

In a ballot first revealed by LBN earlier this week, Jacob’s workers voted in favour of the new offer with 64% in favour and 36% against. They will return to work this week.

The GMB union had been pushing for an 8.5% pay offer but the company’s initial offer fell well short of this at just 3.75%. In an improved offer, Pladis proposed a 6.5% pay rise this year, with a one-off £500 payment. It offered another 3% for next year with a £250 one-off payment.

Jacob’s makes Cream Crackers, Club biscuits, Twiglets, Jaffa Cakes cake bars, Mini Cheddars and Cracker Crisps at the factory. On September 26 staff began action that stopped short of an overall walkout.

However, this failed to shift the management stance and on November 14 the workers started an indefinite walkout. Around the same time Pladis shifted production of Cream Crackers to Portugal.

This latest breakthrough in the dispute comes almost two weeks after the conciliation service ACAS went into the factory to meet with bosses and union leaders. However, despite talks lasting eight hours, no agreement was reached.

Pladis had persuaded some workers and managers to defy the picket line and continue going into work, a move that has increased the bitterness between the two sides.

LBN has contacted Pladis for comment on the ballot result.

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