According to Union News, the Bakers Food & Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) say they are confident they have ‘secured everything we were looking for’ due to the dispute which began when Hovis replaced staff recently made redundant with agency workers.
In stark contrast to the token one day strikes called by some of the larger unions over the last couple of years, this was a proper strike which did what a strike is supposed to do and shut the Hovis factory down. A militant and well attended picket line also prevented delivery lorries from leaving the bakery leading to an inevitable heavy handed police response and three arrests.
Alongside the strike many supporters contacted Hovis demanding they employ their workers properly and pledging to boycott the company whilst the strike took place. This shows that the days when workers on strike for better conditions can be demonised by hard right militants at the Daily Telegraph are at an end. If it comes to a straight up scrap between low paid workers and giant corporations like Hovis then it is likely to be the workers the public backs from now on. And no-one wants to eat bread, or anything else, produced by scab workers.
Don’t expect any help for low paid workers from politicians, who have got their snouts so deep in the trough they can barely even see what’s going on anymore. But collective action can still win the day as the victorious bakers have shown. Trade union members everywhere should be watching. There’s still strength in any union that is prepared to fight.
Hovis bread is currently scab free. Why not Boycott Warbutons, who gave £25,000 to the Tory Party, instead.
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