“Fire and rehire” crunch talks fail


Stalemate after talks make no progress

Friday’s crunch talks between the Unite Union and JDE Management did not make any progress.   A statement issued by Unite late on Friday afternoon said that no agreement was reached and “there are no plans for more talks”.

This morning (Saturday) JDE’s management issued a statement saying they attended the meeting with an increased offer but the union were not prepared to discuss it.

The scheduled 24-hour strike planned for Saturday (May 8) starting at 7am will be taking place as planned.

Unite national officer for the food and drink industry Joe Clarke said: “We had four hours of talks today (Friday 7 May) with the JDE management , but unfortunately, no agreement was reached. There are no plans for more talks, however, Unite’s door is always open for further negotiations.

 “This means that the demo, following strict Covid-19 protocols, will take place outside JDE’s Ruscote Avenue site, Banbury OX16 2QU from 10.30 tomorrow (Saturday 8 May). This coincides with the 24 hour strike which will be held between 07:00 tomorrow (Saturday 8 May) and 07.00 on Sunday (9 May).”

Following the failure of Friday’s talks, JDE’s management have expressed disappointment that the union were not willing to discuss the latest proposals from JDE.

Rob Williams, Banbury Plant Director, said: “It is a shame for our associates that the union were not prepared to discuss the latest proposals at the Acas meeting yesterday. We came to that meeting with an increased offer and we remain ready to negotiate at any point.

“We fully understand that change is difficult which is why we think it is important to provide clarity to our associates about next steps. It is, as it has always been, our intention to work with Unite and our associates but this is difficult when the union will not discuss the terms of the proposals. We strongly believe we need to make these changes to secure a future for the Banbury factory.

“The union has notified us of a 24-hour strike today and we are obviously disappointed that some associates have chosen to participate in industrial action but respect their right to do so. Our priority today, as it is every day, is to keep the factory operating in a way that protects everyone’s health and safety.”

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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