Workers at four British Sugar factories in eastern England have finally accepted a 3.5% pay offer.

Some 250 Unite union members accepted the pay offer after it emerged there was insufficient support for industrial action.

The decision averts the threat of workers disrupting beet processing at Bury St Edmunds, Cantley, Newark and Wissington.

“Our members have unhappily and reluctantly accepted the company’s pay offer,” said Unite regional officer Tony Ellingford.

“The decision was taken in the context of the grim economic climate that does not look like improving under the coalition government.

“Our members did hold an industrial action ballot, but it was deemed that there was insufficient support, by a narrow margin, for such action.”

Unite had been seeking a pay deal equal to Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation for the year to April 2012 for members including engineers and production staff.