Christmas treats at risk as biscuit makers plan strike action over pay

News

Crumbs! Biscuit fans are facing a shortage of festive favourites.

Staff at Fox’s, who make much-loved confections including a Christmas variety tin, are striking over pay next month – and there are fears that seasonal supplies could be at risk.

Retail analyst Clive Black warned: “If manufacturing is seriously impeded people will miss their treats.”

Fox Biscuits usually sell five million tins over the Christmas period and year-round sales include Party Rings, Rocky bars and Crunch Creams.

Some 36 engineers at the factory in Batley, West Yorks, have been offered an increase of five per cent, which their union Unite calls a real-terms pay cut.

They will strike for four days from Sunday, November 6, then four more from Monday, November 14.

Fox’s had revenue of £123million in 2021, according to its accounts, and Unite chief Sharon Graham says: “This is a hugely wealthy company. Settling our members’ pay claim would be an absolute drop in the ocean for it. This is a classic example of a company that can pay but is choosing not to.”

A spokesman for Fox’s said: “We are working closely with our colleagues to find a meaningful resolution… we do not anticipate any supply issues as a result of this situation.”

Fox’s began in Batley in 1853 when Michael Spedding started selling brandy snaps. It got its name when his son-in-law Fred Ellis Fox took over in 1897.