Working in Greencore’s Northampton factory is a chilling business. In temperatures ranging from distinctly nippy to sub-zero, employees work shifts of up to 12 hours, often overnight, laying thousands of pieces of tomato on sandwiches for customers including Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and Asda.
The money isn’t good. Workers who pass their three-month probation earn “cold money” to compensate for the teeth-chattering temperatures. An employee on the minimum wage gets an extra 24p an hour for chillier conditions, 48p if their environment is classed as cold and 68p if they are in a freezer. Greencore says few workers stay on the minimum wage.But the boss class does alright:
Greencore’s boss Patrick Coveney was paid £1.3m last year, including £626,000 salary and £418,000 bonus.Still, I suppose that working for Greencore is better than plucking the leaves - one by one - off the trees outside Parliament.