Workers at KP Snacks have voted to walk out for a week in September after they vehemently rejected a “below-inflation” eight per cent pay rise.
The factory in Rotherham is the only producer of KP Nuts, so snack-lovers countrywide could find themselves without their usual protein-packed nibbles.
Some 83 per cent of workers voted to strike, buoyed on by a union emphasising the company’s profit success clashing with a real-terms pay cut for staff.
However, KP Snacks said the rejected pay offer of eight per cent backdated to April this year was “ahead of most pay deals” in the sector.
The offer was a raise on the six per cent proffered to workers in July.
Unite claims KP Snacks has increased its profits by 275 per cent since 2018 while average pay at KP Snacks has fallen in real terms by 14 per cent since 2018.
Unite regional officer Chris Rawlinson said: “If bosses want to avoid a nut shortage across pubs and supermarkets they need to put a fairer pay offer on the table.”
General secretary of the union Sharon Graham said: “Unite’s message to KP Snacks is if you pay your workers peanuts, expect strike action.
“The company has increased its profits by an astonishing 275 per cent since 2018.
“But the workers’ pay has fallen 14 per cent in real terms over the same period. That’s why workers are refusing to accept anything less than a pay deal which keeps up with the cost of living.”
KP Snacks has been contacted by City A.M. for comment.
But Mark Duffy, manufacturing director at KP Snacks, told the PA news agency: “I can confirm that following further wage negotiations with colleagues and their representatives at our Hellaby site, our latest pay offer has been rejected and we have been advised by Unite that they will be taking strike action from September 5-12.
“We are extremely disappointed to have reached this situation, which is unprecedented for KP, and had hoped to avoid the announced strike and resultant impact on colleagues. In the meantime, the factory team continues to develop robust contingency plans to minimise the impact on customers and consumers.”