Pay dispute at Wigan plastic bottle manufacturer could impact major brands such as Coca Cola

A pay dispute at a Wigan plastic bottle manufacturer could impact major brands such as Coca Cola and Britvic.

Monday, 6th September 2021, 3:53 pm
Unite members at Alpla are balloting over strike action

Nearly 150 factory workers, who are members of Unite, at the Golborne site of Alpla UK are being balloted for strike action in response to an “insulting” two per cent pay offer.

Action could impact supplies of bottles and containers for products such as detergents, hand sanitiser, shower gels and drinks.

Unite regional officer Richard O’Brien said: “Alpla UK has a very healthy turnover of nearly £200m and operating profits of more than £21m. The company can clearly afford to offer our members more, particularly after they kept them going through the pandemic when other firms were struggling.”

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“Unite is dedicated to advancing the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and will fight back against any efforts to diminish workers’ living standards.”

Alpla UK manufactures plastic bottles and containers for companies including PZ Cussons, Johnson & Johnson, Lever, Britvic, Coca Cola, Arla Foods, Core Ingredients, Princes Foods and others.

The unions have said its members are “extremely angry” after other employees were awarded a three per cent rise.

As well as this, the workers also want the company to fulfil a pledge made in 2020 to increase employer pension contributions.

Mr O’Brien said: “After Alpla’s award of three per cent to other staff and a failure to honour its 2020 pension promises, our members feel they are being treated as second class employees.

“The strength of feeling is such that Unite has no choice but to ballot our members for strike action, which could impact the availability of major food, drink and other consumer brands across the country.

“Given the difficulties already facing the supply chain because of driver shortages, this will be the last thing their customers want. We urge Alpla to return to the negotiating table with an offer our members can accept before this dispute escalates further.”

The ballot opens on Wednesday September 8 and closes on September 22.

Alpla Golborne were contacted for a comment but were not aware of the situation concerning strike action.

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