'Desperate' Cranswick staff walk out over 'stressful and exhausting' working conditions and pay
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 4 Dec 2018
Around 200 staff at Cranswick’s Preston site have protested outside the factory over pay and working conditions.
The group gathered outside the factory, in Staithes Road, from 6am on Monday morning and said they would not move until a resolution had been reached.
A list of seven requirements was presented to the food giant, which included increasing the number of staff working on each production line, raising overtime payments by 50 per cent of the worker’s hourly rate, and increasing pay in line with the National Minimum Wage rise.
A Cranswick spokesman said the firm was disappointed with the unofficial strike, and confirmed talks are ongoing.
One worker at Cranswick said: “We just want the company to treat us how we should be treated as employees.
Staff involved in the protest. (Richard Addison)
“We do our jobs the best we possibly can, but sometimes it feels like we are not being respected for that.
“This situation has come about from desperate people. We are going to protest outside the factory until we get an answer.”
Staff protesting outside Cranswick drafted up a letter of requirements. In it, they wrote: “Working conditions did not change, and became even worse.
“The staff is expected to work faster, in stressful and exhausting environment. The pay rates per hour remain the same.”
Other things requested by staff include increasing pay by £1 an hour for all butchers and slaughter specialists at Cranswick.
Staff also claimed they were “not physically able to make work on time with the high standard,” and have asked the company to “not increase the speed of the production constantly.”
The letter, seen by Hull Live, has demanded Cranswick meets the requirements by December 14. They have also threatened to go on formal strike if conditions are not met.
Cranswick is Hull’s biggest food producer. The company, headquartered at the Sutton Fields industrial estate, recorded pre-tax profits of £44.8m for the first six months of the financial year – up from £44.4m.
Around 200 people took part in the protest on Monday morning. (Richard Addison)
During the first six months of the financial year Cranswick has invested record amounts in its operations in a bid to fuel future growth.
The food producer recorded more than £40m of capital expenditure, with work on its new £60m processing facility in Suffolk also underway.
A spokesman at Cranswick said: “We are disappointed to acknowledge there was an unofficial strike at our Preston site on Monday morning, but can confirm everyone has returned to work.
"We have been working with the GMB for a number of months and are continuing to work on a resolution for the team on site."