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    Tea bag shortage looms as Tetley workers set to strike

    Workers at a Tetley Tea factory have voted for strike action in a dispute over pay, rejecting a further real terms pay cut.

    Britain’s favourite tea could be in short supply after almost 150 Tetley workers at the plant in Eaglescliffe, near Stockton-on-Tees, voted for strike action in a dispute over pay. The factory is the only producer of Tetley’s tea in the UK.

    A majority of 97 per cent of GMB Union members at Tata Consumer Products Limited, in Teesside, voted for strike action. The predominately woman workforce have suffered years of real terms pay cuts.

    Laura Maughan, GMB Organiser, said, “Tetley workers have faced years of real terms pay cuts. Now, during a cost-of-living crisis, they are standing together and demand better.

    “They are struggling to support their families, unable to escape from domestic abuse in some cases and are having to resort to food banks. All they’re asking for is fair pay for their skilled work.

    “Their quality of life has been eroded over time, and it’s in Tata’s power to change this for the workers, their families and for the future of decent paid jobs in Teesside.”

    It added that no date had been set for the walkout.

    Tata Consumer Products, which owns the business, said the decision was “disappointing”. It said that it was in “active discussions” with unions and staff, and was keen to “reach a resolution in line with what’s reasonably affordable to the business and in the best interests of the factory”.

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