Suntory Beverage and Food employees accept 5.5% pay increase

Suntory Beverage Food pay
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More than 180 workers employed by Suntory Beverage and Food in Gloucestershire have accepted a 5.5% pay increase.

The employees, who are members of trade union Unite, previously took part in seven days of strike action as they said the Lucozade and Ribena producer had rescinded on a commitment to undertake a pay review intended to address the cost-of-living crisis. This was due to take place if inflation exceed 5% before June 2023.

Following the industrial action that began on 5 February, negotiations resulted in an improved offer that was a 2% increase on the original offer, and a back payment effective from April 2023.

The next phase of industrial action was due to begin on 28 February and last until 7 March, but due to the acceptance of the improved offer, this will not go ahead. Negotiations for the 2024 pay increase will begin on 1 April. Unite has stated it will also address several other issues relating to workers’ shifts.

Karl Ottomar, supply chain director, Suntory Beverage and Food GB and Ireland, said: “Suntory Beverage and Food GB and Ireland has reached an agreement with our union and employee representatives. This pay negotiation agreement represents a generous offer to our employees and cements our position as a top employer in the region. We’re pleased that our focus can now be directed to strengthening our customer service and producing our iconic Lucozade and Ribena drinks in the heart of the Forest of Dean.”

Sharon Graham, general secretary at Unite, added: “Once Suntory saw that members were not prepared to budge, it returned to the bargaining table with an improved offer. This result demonstrates how Unite is actively delivering improvements to the jobs, pay and conditions of our members.”

Michael Hobbs, regional officer at Unite, said: “The cost-of-living crisis is hard to navigate so this pay increase provides much needed support during a difficult economic period. Despite this agreement, there remains several issues of major concern for our members at Suntory and Unite will be addressing them during forthcoming negotiations.”