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Majority of Tandragee’s Tayto staff vote against strike action

Staff at the Tayto factory in Tandragee have rejected a call by Unite for strike action.

Group Operations Director Martin McElhinney the snack food giant was “delighted” that “only 42 people voted in favour of strike action”.

Trade union Unite announced in March that it would conduct a ballot of employees in Tandragee over potential strike action.

Sean McKeever, Unite officer for production and packaging workers at the county Armagh firm, said it was balloting members for an increase in pay.

The union claim that the Manderley Food Group was attempting to avoid paying the new National Living Wage through offsetting against bonus.

“Manderley Food Group is behaving with complete disrespect to their Tayto workforce,” said Mr McKeever. “Management are attempting to avoid raising basic pay to the new National Living Wage rate by counting a weekly bonus payment made entirely separate to the basic wage.

“This represents a fundamental break with their longstanding approach, which was to peg the wage at five pence above the current legal minimum.”

This was something which was disputed by the company, which is marking 60 years in business in the County Armagh town.

The results of the ballot have now been returned and the threat of strike lifted at Tayto Castle.

Group Operations Director Martin McElhinney said: “We are delighted that only 42 people voted in favour of strike action. That is less than a third of Unite’s members at Tayto.

“It is also less than 3% of our total workforce, all of whom have been subject to the same new rates of pay brought about by the Government’s introduction of the National Living Wage in April.

“We would like to reiterate that none of our colleagues have suffered financially as a result of this new legislation, their salaries have either gone up or remained the same.

“We now want to look forward, moving our focus away from this matter which has been deeply distressing for many of our colleagues and concentrate on growing the company and securing our futures.”

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