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Talks Turn Bitter As York Sweet Makers' Strike Continues

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Union members set to continue strike at Tangerine’s York factory making Mint Humbugs, Sherbert Fountains, Butterkist Popcorn and Princess Marshmallows.

GMB union members will resume strike action tomorrow (Monday) at Tangerine's York confectionary factory.

The workers produce Mint Humbugs, Barratt Sherbert Fountains, Butterkist Popcorn and Princess Marshmallows.

Talks between GMB, the union for food and drink workers, and Tangerine Management broke down on Friday, following initial strike action last week.

The union said the company had maintained their stance that any improvement to their offer - previously rejected by 86% of union members in a ballot - would have to be self-funded by again eating away at workers' terms and conditions.

GMB counter proposed a 15 month and 18 month deal in the hope to resolve the dispute, however these were rejected by the company.

Ben Kirkham GMB Organiser said:

"This is a deeply frustrating situation. Workers have made it very clear to the employer that they are not happy with the erosion of their terms and conditions especially as there has been a 36% increase in production capacity, which has not been reciprocated by the company in annual pay talks this year. 

"No one wants a strike but the previous action on Tuesday I believe, shows the level of our members’ anger at the company’s unwillingness to listen to them. This hasn’t been helped by the company’s sedate approach to resolving the dispute. It’s disappointing and has a sour taste in workers' mouths. They remain resolute and will not go cap in hand “


Contact: Ben Kirkham GMB Organiser 07958156841 or GMB press office on 07958 156846 or at

Notes to Editors

Website for Tangerine York -

Background Information

Tangerine headquartered are based in Blackpool, Tangerine is the UK’s largest independent manufacturer of sugar confectionery and popcorn. It owns brands such as Butterkist popcorn, the iconic Barratt Sherbet Fountain and Dip Dabs, Henry Goode’s soft eating liquorice and Princess Marshmallows. 

In the period from January 2006 to July 2011, Tangerine quadrupled in size, increasing its turnover from £40m to £160m and its base of employees by 300% to 1,350. In February 2011, Tangerine gained a top 20 place in the Sunday Times DeloitteBuyout Track 100, which ranks Britain's 100 private equity backed companies with the fasted growing profits (EBITDA) over the last two years of available accounts.

* 2011- US private equity firm Blackstone Group buys majority stake UK based confectionary company Tangerine -

* A sweet return for Growth Capital Partners -


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