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Tereos reaches pay deal to end French sugar plant strike

October 22, 2015
Food & Drink

(Reuters) – France’s biggest sugar group, Tereos, said on Wednesday that work would resume at its French plants after it reached a pay settlement with unions to end a week-long strike that has disrupted production.

The strike had put a question mark over this year’s production season, when Tereos plans to process about 15 million tonnes of sugar beet, or nearly half the French crop.

The company said activity was returning to normal after it reached an agreement with the CFDT, CGT and FO unions, which launched the strike over pay.

“The protocol signed today notably sets the figures for the salaries raise as follows: 1.1 percent for general wage increase and 0.3 percent for individual wage increase,” Tereos said in a statement.

Thierry Bailleu, representative for the CFDT union at Tereos, told Reuters earlier that the deal offered a 2 percent increase in overall pay terms.

Workers would resume normal shifts on Thursday, an official at the CGT union said, after staging partial stoppages since Oct. 15 to demand a pay increase higher than an overall 1.1 percent rise previously offered by the company.

The strike disrupted production at nine plants, but Tereos said manufacturing facilities had kept on processing beet sugar.

Tereos, a cooperative group owned by 12,000 farmers, is one of the world’s largest producers of sugar and ethanol.

The company launched its annual production run on Sept. 22, and Bailleu said it was taking in about 140,000 tonnes of just-harvested sugar beet a day. (Reporting by Valerie Parent, additional reporting by Gus Trompiz, Editing by Bate Felix and Pravin Char)

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