WARBURTONS staff could strike after bosses refused to budge in a row over pay.

Workers at both Warburtons sites in Bolton — in Hereford Street and Britannia Way — are ready to take part in a consultative ballot over possible action.

It comes after bosses refused to move on a two per cent pay offer, which has already been rejected by 95 per cent of members.

Warburtons has approximately 1,300 staff nationally, 300 of whom are based in Bolton.

They will be balloted between July 23 and August 3.

One Bolton employee, who asked not to be named, said: “This is a company with a £550 million turnover, who last year.

“They gave £4.7 million in bonuses between 17 directors but our last pay rise was 16 months ago.

“The union feels that is unsatisfactory and I think it is an insult.

“It is just sheer greed by the company. It is supposed to be a family firm but people’s wages are being eroded by inflation.”

If no agreement is reached, workers could go on strike later this summer. Ian Hodson, national president of the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union, said: “We have met the company today, and they have said the offer can only be improved if we accept changes to terms and conditions, which we feel is unfair.

“Our members feel they have already paid a high price through plant closures and redundancies and after the closure of the final salary (pension) scheme.”

He stressed that the ballot was consultative, and that he hoped the company would reconsider if members voted in favour of a strike.

A Warburtons spokesman said: “As a major business in the region and with a proud track record as a good employer, we are always willing to have an open dialogue with our employees and their representatives. We believe that after four months of negotiations and in the context of a highly competitive market, our proposal to offer a basic pay rise, along with modest improvements in other areas to fund a further increase, is both fair and reasonable.

“Warburtons is committed to continued negotiation with the BFAWU to determine how the current offer can be improved.”