• Beans are off the menu after Heinz employees at its Wigan factory rejected a below-inflation 3.3% pay offer Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Trade union Unite yesterday said its members at the company's factory in Wigan backed industrial action by nine-to-one in protest against a below-inflation offer of 3.3 per cent.
Unite said it would hold a mass meeting on Saturday to decide its next move.
Heinz produces a range of products - including beans, soups, pasta meals and baby food - at the Wigan factory, which employs about 1,200 staff.
Unite national officer Jennie Formby said: "This ballot result reflects what our members feel about Heinz's current attitude.
"Our members do not want to take strike action but have been left with no choice because they will not allow Heinz management to bully or fool its workforce into accepting its version of a 'fair' pay deal.
"Workers at the factory feel completely let down by Heinz management.
"Heinz is in no way suffering during the recession, with climbing profits and management flaunting massive bonuses in our members faces; its loyal workforce are told to take a below inflation pay deal for two years - a pay cut in real terms."