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Pay Deal Reached between Striking Workers and Browns Food Group, UK Meat Processor

Pay Deal Reached between Striking Workers and Browns Food Group, UK Meat Processor Food and Beverage Business

Industrial action at UK meat processor Browns Food Group has come to an end following the acceptance of a pay deal by striking workers.

In August, staff at Browns’ factory in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, voted for multiple rounds of strike action and an overtime ban after rejecting a pay offer. However, an agreement has now been reached, with workers accepting a 13.2% wage increase for 2023. The deal includes the implementation of the ‘real living wage’ of £10.90 an hour, retroactive to April 2023, along with a one-off payment of £250 ($305.96). Browns has also committed to wage increases for 2024 and 2025 as part of a three-year deal.

Paul Bennett from the Unite trades union, which represents 350 workers at the Kelloholm facility, previously criticized the company for its treatment of the workforce, stating, “The company is in a very healthy financial position due to the hard work of our members, so it’s scandalous that they are treating the workforce with such contempt.” Browns responded that the union’s pay demands were an “unrealistic request.”

Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, commented on the wage deal, saying, “Unite’s members at Browns have secured an excellent wage deal. The pay increase of 13.2% this year was only achieved through the brave stance our members took in taking on their employer through strike action.”

Browns Food Group, a family-controlled business specializing in the production of cooked and sliced meats, purchased its Kelloholm factory in 2014. The company operates from seven manufacturing sites and recorded revenues of £194.3m in the year to December 2022, marking a 26.2% increase year-on-year. EBITDA also saw a 3% rise to £17.3m.