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Kingsmill workers on Merseyside win inflation-busting pay rise, union announces

STRIKING Kingsmill bakers on Merseyside are set to receive more dough after winning an inflation-busting pay rise, the BFAWU union announced today.

Allied Bakeries workers in Bootle have gained wage boosts of 8.7 per cent this year and 8.6 per cent next year, their union said.

The deal, which has been reached after the bakers went on strike in late May following a “year of failed pay negotiations,” was hailed as “history in the baking” by the TUC.

The union confederation noted that the victory would have a huge impact on the low-income workforce, with a fifth of employees across the food industry thought to be relying on foodbanks as they are not paid enough to be able to buy the products they produce.

BFAWU national president Ian Hodson told the Morning Star the workers “showed that when you are prepared to stand together, winning is possible.

“Workers don’t strike for fun but out of necessity. These workers have seen cuts in their take-home pay and voted to strike during [the] Covid-19 [pandemic], but put it to one side believing they would be fairly treated during the crisis. They now know that their very profitable employer will pay them as little as they can get away with.

“It’s time workers stopped being the cash cow for the rich and started to be paid their true worth. The food industry needs to raise wages or face not just an exodus of labour but industrial militancy too.”

The BFAWU had previously blasted Allied Bakeries and its parent company Associated British Foods for “boasting about their successful increases in profits and shareholder rewards” during the dispute.

The companies also make products for the Allison’s and Sunblest brands. 

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