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Chirk chocolate factory workers land inflation-busting pay rise

By Thom Kennedy | Chirk | Business | Published:

Cadbury workers at Chirk and Leominster have won a two year pay deal which looks set to deliver pay rises worth more than three per cent for two consecutive years.

Cadbury has a factory at Chirk on the Shropshire border

Union Unite has hailed the inflation-busting raise which will affect 1,300 workers at three Cadbury sites – including both Chirk and Marlbrook near Leominster plus the chocolate giant's famous headquarters at Bourneville in Birmingham.

It will mean a back-dated increase of 3.2 per cent for the period from April this year to next March, with another increase from next spring which will be based on the UK inflation figure from next February.

It is based on the retail price index, which is currently running at 3.9 per cent.

The deal will also boost maternity pay for workers at the Mondelez International-owned chocolate maker.

At present maternity pay of 90 per cent is paid for the first six weeks of leave, but under the new deal 65 per cent will then be paid for the next seven-and-a-half months. At present it is paid for only 12 weeks.

That will also be topped up by the government's statutory maternity pay.

The Chirk factory employs about 350 people making chocolate crumb, while Marlbrook has 150 staff working on milk products. Both are sent to Birmingham to be made into chocolate bars.

Union bosses hailed the generous pay deal. Unite's national lead officer for food, drink and agriculture Joe Clarke said: “We are very pleased with this deal that our members have voted overwhelmingly in favour of.

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“It is a package designed to counter rising inflation levels and protect our members’ standard of living during these challenging economic times.

“Unite has guaranteed a cost of living increase for Cadbury UK workers nationally with this two-year deal."

He added: “We are delighted that the Cadbury business, with its strong ethical traditions, can still act in a positive fashion in relation to its workforce and set the benchmark within the food, drink and agriculture industries for other employers to follow.

“The recognition of how important decent maternity pay arrangements are is warmly welcomed by all our members and is an example which others in this sector should emulate.”

Thom Kennedy

By Thom Kennedy
Business Editor - @tkennedy_star

Shropshire Star Business Editor

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