INDUSTRIAL action at feed compounder AB Agri has been called off at the 11th hour following workers voting to accept a two-year pay deal worth 13%.

In addition to a higher pay settlement, union recognition will be allowed across the firm’s mills.

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About 150 workers had planned to take strike action between 1 and 7 April, with “Work to Rule” in effect from 8-14 April before “all out indefinite strike action” would have taken place from 15 April.

Employees based at mills in Bury St Edmonds in Suffolk, Walsingham in Norfolk, Flixborough in Lincolnshire, Sherburn in North Yorkshire, Cupar in Fife, Enstone in Oxfordshire, Cullompton in Devon and Fridaythrope in East Yorkshire rejected a pay offer of 4.5%.

Instead, workers will receive a pay rise of 4.5% back paid from October 2022, plus a 1.5% lump sum.

From September 2023, their pay will increase again by 5.5%, with a further 2% in January 2024.

An additional day’s annual leave is also included in the deal.

‘Much-improved pay offer’

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “By standing together in their union, AB Agri workers won a much-improved pay offer and strengthened their collective bargaining position across the company.

“As this pay deal shows, Unite’s renewed focus on defending and improving jobs, pay and conditions gets more cash in our members’ pockets.”

An ABN spokesperson said: “At ABN, we are committed to being an employer of choice that aims to attract and retain our employees by offering competitive packages.

“We had a productive conversation with Unite on Tuesday and agreed a way forward for all parties. We look forward to continuing to work with them.”