Unite has confirmed an all-out strike action by Hovis workers is going ahead after management’s offer of a 3% pay raise was rejected by workforce reps.
According to Sean McKeever, regional officer for Unite, the ‘inadequate’ last-ditch pay offer does not deliver on pay parity with Hovis employees in Great Britain.
McKeever said a 10% pay increase would have addressed members’ demands for pay parity with GB workers, however, a ‘totally inadequate’ 3% was placed on the table.
“Hovis is a hugely successful company that reported pre-tax profits at the end of last year of £19.2m. There is no excuse for treating their workers in Northern Ireland any differently to those in Great Britain. Their workforce in Northern Ireland have a legitimate expectation of being paid on an equal basis to workers in Great Britain.”
Workers are set to down tools from today, which McKeever noted will have a significant and immediate impact on bread supplies in Northern Ireland. Post-Brexit barriers in importing bread from mainland UK are likely to compound the situation.
He added that baking activities at the Belfast factory have already stopped.
“This strike is likely to lead to bread shortages as early as this weekend.”