Cadbury workers have voted by an overwhelming 87 per cent in favour of a 3.75 per cent pay rise over two years.
The result was seen as a vote of shopfloor confidence nearly two years on from the £11.7 billion Kraft takeover.
Just over 900 workers were involved in a ballot on the “full and final” offer, which is 3.75 per cent for the first year and capped at that level for the second year with a lower limit of 1.5 per cent, dependent on the RPI inflation rate.
The deal, which was recommended for acceptance, was endorsed by 795 workers while a total of 109 voted against. There were no spoilt papers.
The vote in favour came just 24 hours after it was revealed that more than 12,000 workers at Jaguar Land Rover would qualify for a 6.1 pay rise from November 1 because of an inflation-linked clause.
The Cadbury ballot outcome will be regarded as a crucial barometer of shopfloor feeling following the controversial Kraft takeover in February last year, when the US giant’s pledged not to make any job cuts for two years.
Joe Clarke, regional official for Unite, said: “There was an 87 per cent acceptance of the deal which had been recommended by the union.
“This gives them stability, with 3.75 per cent this year and the same next. The company are continuing to invest in Bournville. I am less concerned about the two years (anniversary) than I am over where we will be with Cadbury after five years.”
The new deal covers workers across the Bournville factory in Birmingham, Chirk in North Wales and Marlbrook in Herefordshire.
The two-year offer is a marginal improvement on last year’s overwhelming acceptance of a 3.7 per cent pay rise, which was approved by 1,133 workers with just 47 against.
It was understood that a range of restructuring and harmonisation of conditions was underway at other Cadbury departments, including sales, IT and Human Resources. Earlier this year Unite national officer Jennie Formby sent a letter of concern to Kraft chief executive Irene Rosenfeld over the “harmonisation project”.