Strike action is set to commence at Allied Bakeries in Northern Ireland on Sunday (February 16th) from 6am after workers rejected an insulting management pay offer.
The pay gap remaining is only 24 pence an hour but must be bridged to avoid unnecessary disruption to pancake supply across UK, Unite has said.
Sean McKeever, Regional Officer for Unite with responsibility for the food and drink sector, called on Allied Bakeries’ bosses to address his members’ legitimate expectation for a fair pay increase and avert an unnecessary strike likely to have serious disruptive impact on the supply of pancakes ahead of Pancake Tuesday.
“Allied Bakeries is a subsidiary of Associated British Foods plc – a hugely successful company which this year reported bumper pre-tax profits [adjusted] of £1.41 billion,” he said. “This is not a company which needs to adopt a penny-pinching approach to its workforce but it is one where management refuses to bridge a 24 pence an hour gap forcing low paid bakery workers to the gates in freezing conditions.
“Our members have had enough of the high-handed approach of the bosses whose final, insulting offer was significantly below inflation meaning a further erosion in their employees’ standard of living. The workforce have overwhelmingly rejected the pay offer – they will have the full support of our union in their fight for pay decency,” he added.
“Within five miles of this plant, Hovis Bakery has just provided their workers a pay increase double that offered by Allied. Continued refusal by management to address the workers’ fair pay expectations will result in significant disruption; in particular to the supply of pancakes, not just in Northern Ireland but across the UK, ahead of Pancake Tuesday.
“There are four days left to avoid a disruptive strike but only if Allied Bakeries delivers fair pay. Unite will remain open in advance of strike action to sit down with the company but only the basis that they are serious about a meaningful engagement. The resolution of our members to secure fair pay should not be underestimated.”