The production of KP’s roasted peanuts is set to grind to a halt next month due to a dispute over pay as workers at the KP Snacks factory in Rotherham have voted by 83 per cent to take strike action for a week beginning on Sept 5.
The Unite union has warned that unless the company ups its pay offer, strike action will escalate. The factory is the sole producer of KP Nuts. The workers have rejected an 8 per cent pay offer. The Unite union noted that the company has increased its profits by 275 per cent since 2018, whilst average pay at KP Snacks has fallen in real terms by 14 per cent during this period.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “Unite’s message to KP Snacks is if you pay your workers peanuts, expect strike action. The workers have Unite’s total support in their drive for a fairer share of the company’s huge profits.”
Unite stated that the snack brand had made matters worse by refusing to offer its lowest-paid hygiene team workers a consolidated pay rise. Instead, management is offering the workers a one-off payment.
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.
“KP Snacks made £54m in profit last year; the company can easily afford to pay workers more. Management should be focused on negotiating an end to the dispute or strike action will escalate. We believe that the offer of 8 per cent with no strings backdated to April 2023 is fair, equitable and ahead of most pay deals this year within the industry.”
They added that the decision by workers to strike was “extremely disappointing,” and the company was developing “robust contingency plans to minimise the impact on customers and consumers,” a spokesperson for KP said.