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Cider staff claim 'victory' in pay dispute

Workers at the Gaymer Cider Company in Shepton Mallett say they are celebrating after agreeing a 'no-strings' pay increase.

Staff had been offered a 3% pay rise on the condition that they then accepted a pay freeze in the subsequent year.

More than 100 production workers at the site in Kilver Street took part in industrial action. They say they have now accepted a 3% rise 'without any strings attached'.

The threat of industrial action forced the company to put the three per cent offer back on the table and also to withdraw any pre-conditions about future negotiations over pay. It has been a victory for worker solidarity.

The company now wants to start negotiations about changes in production and working patterns.

The union goes into these negotiations with our heads held high – and we wish to engage in these talks in a constructive and positive manner.

– Hugh Kirkbride, Unite Regional Officer

Cider workers to be balloted in pay dispute

Workers at the Gaymer Cider Company in Shepton Mallett, are to vote on possible industrial action in a dispute over pay.

The country’s largest union, UNITE says it is holding a ballot of its more than 100 production workers at the Kilver Street site on whether to take strike action or industrial action, short of a strike in the dispute. The ballot closes on Friday 24 January.

The union claims the dispute centres on a three per cent pay rise for 2012-13 which was made conditional on a wage freeze in the following year.

Farmers lost more than a 1p per litre of milk last year

One of the most important dates in the dairy farmer's calendar took place today - the dairy show at Shepton Mallet.

It comes as a new report reveals that the region's farmers lost more than a penny on every litre of milk produced last year.

Last month, Farmers for Action held a protest over prices at a distribution depot near Bridgwater.

And today members say they may be forced to stage further blockades in the run-up to Christmas.

Our Somerset Correspondent David Woodland has more....

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The Royal Bath & West Show over the years

The Royal Bath and West Show celebrates its 150th Show today. It's unique in the South West as it was the only big show to move about before settling in one place in the mid sixties. Its gatherings were held from South Wales to Plymouth.

The first show was back in 1852 but as our Somerset correspondent David Woodland reports, its remit has always been the same - to bring farmers together and to show 'townies' what goes on down on the farm!

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