Hovis workers end 11 day strike - union ‘welcomes increased pay offer as decisive victory’ - ‘not a single loaf of bread was baked in 12 days’

Hovis workers have ended their 11-day strike.

Monday, 24th May 2021, 12:43 pm

The news came from union Unite who said they voted with a majority of 79 percent to accept latest increased pay offer from management.

The statement said that Unite ‘welcomes increased pay offer as decisive victory for workforce achieved through collective organisation and industrial militancy’.

The pay deal includes an 8 percent increase over two years, with first increase backdated to January 2021, as well as LRA conducted industrial relations audit to address wider workforce issues of concern.

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Sean McKeever, Regional Officer for Unite confirmed that ‘a vote conducted at mass, socially-distanced meeting at the Hovis’ Apollo Road site, members of both Unite and the Baker’s union voted overwhelmingly to accept the latest, improved pay offer from management and conclude their eleven day long strike action,” he said.

“This result is a huge victory for these workers – a victory won through determined all-out strike action which extended to eleven days. I wish to congratulate our members and those of the Baker’s union for their stand and their unity in pursuit of the demand for a fair pay increase; this demonstrates the benefit of collective organisation and a preparedness to take militant industrial action.

“This strike should never have had to occur; it reflected a total failure on the part of a management who repeatedly underestimated their own workforce.

“These workers have been forced to stand around the clock at picket lines for eleven days to win a pay deal that should have been made long ago.

Hovis workers who held all-out strike action at the company's factory on Apollo Road in south Belfast.

“As a result of this entirely avoidable strike action, not a single loaf of bread was baked in 12 days, and supermarket and retailer shelves have been left bare of Hovis bread as well as a variety of bread products made by these workers, including bagels and pancakes.

“After this vote, workers will return to production lines tomorrow [Tuesday May 25th] at 6am.

“They do so knowing that they retain the power to take on the bosses.

“The strike action by Hovis workers is a shining example of how, through standing together, working-class people can improve their lot even during a pandemic.

“This exemplary eleven-day, all-out strike demonstrates what is needed if workers are to tackle the corporate race to the bottom.

“I’m very proud to have stood with these workers in that fight. The workforce is going back into this workplace more organised than ever before.”

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