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Hovis employees embark on week long strike

28 August 2013

In a move that could impact deliveries of bread in the North West, Hovis staff in Wigan have walked out as part of a week long strike. 

The employees are taking the action in response to the introduction of an agency workers on zero hour contracts.

According to The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWAU), following the redundancy of nearly 30 workers earlier this year, agency workers were brought in almost immediately.

"The issue of zero-hour contracts is one that is taking up a considerable amount of column space in both local and national newspapers at the moment,” said the BFAWU in a statement.

“The Bakers’, Food and Allied Workers Union highlighted this exploitation back in 2011 during a dispute with a well known supplier of cake products. Unfortunately, we remained a lone voice. With honourable exceptions, the media, local politicians and the general public alike decided to remain impassive and apathetic. Since then, the use of zero-hour contracts has reached almost epidemic proportions and it has been estimated that over a million UK workers are now employed on these contracts."

In response to the announcement of the proposed strikes, Premier Foods released the following statement: “Premier Foods is aware of recent media comments on the alleged use of zero hours contracts for employees at our Wigan bakery.

“As a matter of principle, we have moved away from the use of zero hours contracts and currently have no zero hours contracted employees at the Company, including at our Wigan site. We very much hope to resolve the issue at our Wigan bakery through further dialogue with our employees and without the need for strike action which would be damaging to the longer term interests of the site.

“The Wigan bakery is part of our broader bakery network and we do not envisage any disruption for our customers should a strike go ahead.”

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