Demonstration to be held this weekend in protest at 'fire and rehire' plan at Banbury's coffee factory

A demonstration is to be held outside the JDE coffee factory on Saturday as part of the industrial action over plans to 'fire and rehire' nearly 300 staff.

Tuesday, 27th April 2021, 4:54 pm
JDE coffee factory in Ruscote Avenue, where demonstrators will gather on Saturday

The demonstration, at 10.30am, will be a public protest observing Covid distancing regulations outside the main entrance to the Jacobs Douwe Egberts factory on Ruscote Avenue.

Those demonstrating will be Unite the Union representatives and supporters of the 291 workers who have been put into consultation over changes to their work contracts. They say the contracts they are being asked to accept are inferior, claiming that JDE has made 'inducements' of £750 to some workers in return for accepting the new terms and conditions.

Unite the Union says some workers would lose up to £7,000 a year through the changes. The union says it will de-escalate the industrial action, which has been supported by 93 per cent of members, if JDE withdraws the S188 'fire and rehire' notice - see this week's story in the Banbury Guardian.

Jacobs Douwe Egberts says it needs to reset Banbury manufacturing and wants workers to agree changes to their contracts. If they do not accept them, they will be dismissed and re-engaged on the new terms

Staff begin an overtime ban on May 1 and will take part in a 24-hour strike from May 8 - May 9.

Jacobs Douwe Egberts says it needs to reset Banbury manufacturing and improve its competitiveness. It wants workers to agree changes to their contracts. If they do not accept them, they will be dismissed and re-engaged on the new terms.

The Dutch firm has a number of other plants abroad and last week, workers at a factory in Bremen, Germany sent a letter of support to their colleagues in Banbury, saying they were also trying to manage the company's restructuring plans.

The announcement of the demonstration and strike come in the same week that a debate was held in Westminster over 'fire and rehire' practices which have caused outrage at British Gas, British Airways and numerous companies as well as among the Banbury 300 at JDE.

Labour leader Keir Starmer tweeted yesterday (Monday): "Fire and rehire is wrong and it should be illegal. That's why I am supporting @unitetheunion's campaign to outlaw fire and rehire."

Banbury MP Victoria Prentis has been asked for a comment on the debate and the use of 'fire and rehire' practices in the case of the Banbury 300.