BFAWU members walk out after bosses impose pay freeze

BFAWU picket line at Gunstone's Bakery, June 2015. Pic from BFAWU president Ian Hodson

BFAWU picket line at Gunstone’s Bakery, June 2015. Pic from BFAWU president Ian Hodson

Hundreds of bakers working at Gunstones Bakery near Sheffield today begin the second day of strike action over pay.

The BFAWU members are angry that bosses are imposing a pay freeze.

The union  had initially agreed with the company to keep any pay negotiations in abeyance due to over four-hundred redundancies being made. However, the company refused to offer staff an increase following the redundancy consultation period, citing the overall cost of the redundancies as a reason for non-movement on pay.

BFAWU members at the site subsequently balloted for industrial action, but gave the company a window of six weeks in order to negotiate further. Five days before the strike was due to take place, union members submitted a 4% pay claim.

The company refused this proposal and made it clear to BFAWU members and officials that any movement on pay would have to be ‘self-financing’, meaning that employees at the site may have to sacrifice existing terms and conditions in order to secure any increase.

A BFAWU spokesperson said: “We see this as unacceptable and hope that the company can review its position to avoid potential bitterness, resentment and the possibility of further action at the site.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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