EFFAT ExCom stands with workers at JDE coffee processing plant, UK

UPDATE 13/03/2020

Following talks with Unite the Union, JDE management at the Banbury (UK) coffee processing plant have agreed to withdraw their ‘sack and reemploy’ ultimatum to workers in order to participate in a process of “meaningful negotiation” with workers’ representatives between now and October 2020.

Joe Clarke, Unite national officer for the food industry, described the agreement between the parties as highlighting a firm commitment “to engage constructively in a dialogue to ensure the future sustainability of the Banbury site”, adding: “we believe we have laid the foundations for a harmonious industrial relations framework.”

Full Unite press release available here.


EFFAT ExCom staged a photo action in solidarity with workers, including 300 members of EFFAT affiliate,  Unite the Union, at the Jacob Douwe Egberts (JDE) coffee processing plant in Banbury, UK, following the company’s ‘bully boy’ tactics in imposing inferior pay and conditions on the workforce.

JDE’s decision to issue 300 workers with a dismissal and re-engagement offer will be met with ‘strong opposition’, EFFAT affiliate Unite the Union has said today.

With formal consultation processes not even begun, JDE has told workers the changes to the contract, which remain largely unknown to all except company executives, are ‘take it or leave it’. Accept the new contract – expected to be ‘inferior’ – or lose your job.

In what is a clear breach of the collective agreement in place at the Banbury plant – which makes Kenco, Tassimo and Millicano coffee products – workers have been left with little choice but to defend their rights to fair and meaningful consultation.

Unite will rightly not be intimidated and blackmailed into bad-faith negotiations. EFFAT joins with Unite in calling on the company to withdraw its outrageous ultimatum and enter into good-faith, meaningful negotiations.

EFFAT and the IUF stand ready to offer all available support and solidarity.

Commenting on JDE’s decision to ignore the established consultation and negotiating procedures, Kristjan Bragason said:

“The behaviour of JDE in this affair has been outrageous. Unfortunately, this is not the first occasion we have seen the company act without proper respect for collective agreements, with notable cases in the recent past in Bremen, Germany and Andezeno, Italy, too.

“We call on JDE to alter course and remove its sack and reemploy ultimatum as a precondition for meaningful negotiations with workers’ representatives from Unite.

“EFFAT sends its full solidarity to all workers affected.”



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