Unite members being balloted for industrial action at Yorkshire Fresh Fruits

Yorkshire Fresh Fruits is offering an ‘insulting’ £50, on top of the statutory redundancy pay, for its hourly paid workers when the firm closes down in June.

Unite is ‘naming and shaming’ the company, which is part of the highly profitable multi-national food giant the Bakkavor Group, to be more generous.

Yorkshire Fresh Fruits employs 445 workers at its site in Selby, north Yorkshire who chop and peel fruit. It is set to shut down after its only customer, Asda awarded the contract to a competitor.

Unite regional officer Sarah Mitchell said: “What we are seeing here is a mean-spirted ‘them and us’ approach when it comes redundancy packages.

“If you are an hourly paid employee you will receive the statutory redundancy pay, plus £50, a so-called ‘goodwill’ payment; while if you are a salaried member of staff with 10 years’ service, you will get about £3,000-£3,500 on top of the statutory minimum. This is blatantly unfair and discriminatory.

“We think this two-tier approach is disgraceful and by making this public, we hope to shame Yorkshire Fresh Fruits into being more generous and bring up the pay-outs to that of the salaried staff. Its parent company, the Bakkavor Group is very profitable and can well afford to be much more generous.

“An industrial action ballot is on the cards, if there is not a substantial improvement on the paltry £50 offer.

“The closure is a bitter blow for the workers, their families and the local economy. The management is looking for a buyer for the company and we have managed to save about 40 jobs, so far.

“Unite is working with the careers service and all interested parties to find our members, who make up the majority of the workforce, alternative employment.”


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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