Christmas chocolate 'shortage looms' as workers vote to strike

More than a dozen staff at Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate are set to walk out in a dispute over pay.

A festive chocolate shortage looms this Christmas as employees at the manufacturer behind Ferrero Rocher voted to take strike action, a union has said.

GMB announced that each of the dozen workers balloted at Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate, one of the UK’s largest suppliers in the confectionary industry, voted to walk out.

It comes after workers rejected a real terms pay cut at the confectionery giant’s site in Worksop, Nottinghamshire.

With strikes looming, GMB warned that beloved yuletide treats could be in short supply across Britain this festive season.

Cameron Mitchell, GMB Organiser, has urged company bosses to “act urgently” to avoid strike action.

He said: “The spectre of Christmas without this beloved yuletide treat would be devastating.

“That’s exactly what’s on the cards if company bosses don’t act urgently to avoid strike action.

“Workers aren’t demanding gold-wrapped pay-outs, instead they’re asking for a pay packet that covers the bills.

“We urge company top brass to urgently back around the table with a fair offer for our members.”

Dates for the strike walk outs are set to be announced in the coming days.

A Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate spokesperson said: “After unresolved discussions with trade union GMB over an unrealistic final demand of a 10% increase and £1,400 one-off payment for employees, employees at Cargill’s Worksop facility have threatened to strike.

“Cargill has made a fair and market competitive offer to its employees of a 5.5% increase, plus the £1,400 one-off payment. We greatly value our employees and the work they do and are disappointed we have not yet come to a collaborative agreement with the union.

“As we continue to facilitate meaningful discussions, we ask for your understanding that we do not currently want to issue any further comments.”

A Ferrero spokesperson said: “We do not source any of our cocoa from the Cargill factory in Nottinghamshire for Ferrero Rocher.”

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