Hovis challenged over pay and contracts
Hundreds of bakers at the Hovis bakery in Wigan are on strike for seven days against zero-hour contracts and casualisation.
The National Shop Stewards Network reports that Members of the Bakers, Food & Allied Workers Union walked out yesterday at 6pm and mounted pickets on all three site entrances.
The strikers have a number of complaints including: reduced hours, meaning pay cuts, and the increased use of casual agency staff after making permanent staff redundant.
Unions say that the agency staff are paid less, with many on zero-hour “as and when” contracts with the hourly rate effectively cut from £13 to £8.60.
Geoff Atkinson of the Bfawu told the National Shop Stewards Network: “This is about fighting for our members to keep local jobs local, a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work – not zero-hour contracts and reducing the amount [they are] paying them.”
According to the site, Hovis management have brought in strike-breakers and have paid for 35 of them to stay at a nearby hotel. Hugh Caffrey of the Shop Stewards network writes that "Clearly Hovis have an agenda of destroying workers’ wages and casualising the majority of the jobs, and are far more willing to splash out on achieving that than pay their workforce a decent wage."
Further 7-day strikes will run from the 11th-18th September, and 25th September until 2nd October.
Read more about Hovis in our guide to bread, part of our special report on food - Food, Justice and Corporate Power.
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