Trade union Unite will ballot employees at Tayto in Tandragee over potential strike action.
Sean McKeever, Unite officer for production and packaging workers at the county Armagh firm, has confirmed his union will proceed to ballot members for an increase in pay.
The union claim that the Manderley Food Group are attempting to avoid paying National Living Wage through offsetting against bonus.
“Manderley Food Group is behaving with complete disrespect to their Tayto workforce,” said Mr McKeever. “Management are attempting to avoid raising basic pay to the new National Living Wage rate by counting a weekly bonus payment made entirely separate to the basic wage.
“This represents a fundamental break with their longstanding approach, which was to peg the wage at five pence above the current legal minimum.”
Tayto announced after-tax profits of almost £5 million last week.
“This is a company that can well afford to raise [to the] National Living Wage,” added Mr McKeever.
“Unite will be balloting our members for strike action in the face of this insult. It is likely that any strike action will cause significant disruption to the production of Tayto crisps but also own-brand products for the multiples.
“We are asking management to adopt a more enlightened approach to their Northern Ireland workers, who have the right to demand equal treatment to workers from other parts of the United Kingdom,” Mr McKeever concluded.
Armagh I have contacted Tayto for a response.