GMB Scotland Defending Your Interests
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Paterson Arran

Dear GMB Member,

GMB Scotland in Food Production

GMB Scotland Secretary, Gary Smith was called to address the UK Government's Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy Committee last week. He spoke on behalf of GMB Scotland members in the food production industry.

You have been treated very poorly by various employers throughout this health crisis.

Please view the following video where Gary Smith discusses challenges faced by you and your fellow workers.

Remember, your union is here for you and we will do our best for you.

David Hume

GMB Scotland Organiser

Dear GMB Member,

GMB Scotland in Paterson Arran – Important Update

During this time of extreme anxiety please know that GMB Scotland are working hard to hold the owners of Paterson’s to account, we still have serious reservations about whether biscuits and shortbread are really an essential food item and not a luxury product. For this reason, we are seeking further clarity from the Scottish Government and asking for clearer, stronger guidelines so that workers are kept safe and only essential work carried out where it is safe to do so

Sick Pay

As well as that I am aware that locally your GMB Scotland Shop Stewards are working tirelessly to make sure that, while you attend work, management are enforcing social distancing in every part of the workplace.

I am pleased to say that as a result of your GMB Shop Stewards work the sick pay provisions have been extended so that any worker entitled to sick pay will receive it from day 1 if you must self-isolate due to Covid-19. This will ease financial worries that many members have and will enable you to make the decision based solely on your health and wellbeing, a positive step. The full details of the changes have been briefed out by management but be under no illusions, this change would not have happened if Paterson Arran did not have a recognised Trade Union negotiating on your behalf.

Pay Talks

I am conscious that pay talks this year still have not been settled and with production up by almost 50%, due to your hard work I must add, we will expect this to be reflected when talks resume. Even though we are in a national crisis GMB Scotland will continue to bargain for improved pay and conditions and we must never let them forget of how critical you are at this difficult time, we expect that to translate to a substantial increase in your pay.

Staying Safe

It’s important to note that if you feel you are working in or asked to enter an unsafe environment you are entitled under law to refuse to do so;

Employment Rights Act 1996 Section 44 

(d) in circumstances of danger which the employee reasonably believed to be serious and imminent and which he could not reasonably have been expected to avert, he left (or proposed to leave) or (while the danger persisted) refused to return to his place of work or any dangerous part of his place of work:

Your Health and Safety is the only priority right now which is why the sick pay from day 1 is such an important step.

Remember, your union is here for you and we will do everything we can for you with the resources we have.

David Hume

GMB Scotland Organiser

Dear GMB Member,

GMB Scotland in Paterson Arran – Pay Ballot Update

Last week we carried out a consultative ballot on the 2.5% pay offer that management made for the 2020 pay deal. The results were as follows:

Are you willing to accept the 2.5% offer?

Yes – 5%

No – 95%

This is an overwhelming rejection of the company’s offer and we are asking them to look again and move towards our original pay claim so that it matches the aspirations of the hard-pressed workforce and rewards you for the skill and dedication that you have shown over the years.

Without the workforce keeping the lines moving Paterson Arran would not have been targeted for a takeover in the first place.

If you have any questions at this time please do not hesitate to contact me

David Hume

GMB Scotland Organiser

Dear GMB Scotland Member,

GMB Scotland in Paterson Arran – Pay Talks Update

Your GMB Scotland Representatives met with management on Monday 25/11 and commenced pay talks.

The wage claim that we submitted on your behalf was as follows;

  • 4.7% increase across all pay grades within the bargaining unit
  • An increase in annual leave by 1 day
  • An assurance to look at the grading structure after pay talks are completed 

We are conscious of the fact that this has been an uncertain time for many within the factory after the acquisition of Paterson Arran by Burtons Biscuits, our priority will always be the defence of your interests.

We go into these pay talks in good faith and we are hopeful that management recognise the massive contribution that the workforce makes every day. The success of Paterson Arran is built on the work that you put in and we feel you deserve a pay deal in line with that contribution.

Bear in mind that our success in these pay talks is hinging on how strong we are within the workplace. If we have a growing GMB membership who understand and recognise how critical they are to the successful future of this company, then we have a better chance of securing an above inflation pay deal.

The larger our membership is then the stronger our bargaining position. Speak to your fellow worker and encourage them to join so that they strengthen our hand in the pay negotiations and so that you all have a say on your pay.

We are meeting management again next Tuesday; an update will follow from that meeting.


David Hume

GMB Scotland Organiser

Dear GMB Member
GMB Scotland Update: Burton’s Acquisition
Our priority is the defence of your interests. That’s why we are watching events very closely following the acquisition of Paterson’s by Burton’s Biscuits.
This morning (Tuesday 3 September), Paterson’s management has given GMB assurances over the future of jobs and work at the Livingston site.
However, the detail is vital and we are seeking an urgent meeting with both management reps from Paterson’s and Burton’s at the earliest possible opportunity.
It is a very reasonable expectation that both parties are fully transparent with us about the future prospects for pay, terms and conditions and job security as a result of this acquisition.
Please be assured that when we have this meeting confirmed we will issue further communications to members.
In the meantime, it is very important that your GMB membership contact details are fully up to date, particularly mobiles.
You can check this by contacting your GMB workplace reps, email me at or go online at
If you know any colleagues who are not in a trade union and would like to join GMB, they can do so by contacting us on 0141 332 8641 (Quote: “Paterson’s membership”) or by visiting our website at
Please do not hesitate to contact me directly if you have any questions at this time on 07931 796733.
David Hume
GMB Scotland Organiser