Weetabix today said it would continue negotiations with workers after they voted to strike over proposed shift changes.

The cereal giant told The Grocer it was “disappointed” by the ballot that returned 91.7% support of industrial action by members of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers, on a 69.5% turnout.

Weetabix said it respected the decision and was “keen to continue discussions” about a switch in shift patterns to a new 24/7 operation to satisfy “increased demand for biscuit production”.

The proposed action would affect sites in Corby and Kettering from the new year, with each strike lasting 24 hours and no more than one stoppage per week, according to Usdaw.

“Despite long and detailed discussions, the company has so far refused to offer suitable financial incentives for employees who have moved shift or will be expected to move on to the new 24/7 pattern,” said union area organiser Ed Leach. “As a result of the failure to agree, members have overwhelmingly backed a series of 24-hour strikes.”

The union hoped Weetabix would continue to negotiate with the union, Leach added.

Were the action to go ahead, Weetabix said it had “plans in place to minimise potential disruption to our operations”.