Hovis strike against Zero Hours contracts – picket line report

30 August 2013

On Wednesday all members of the BFAWU – Bakers , Food and Allied Workers hovis picket talking to driverUnion walked out of the Premier ( Hovis ) factory in Wigan in what is planned to be the first of three week long strikes.

Following the redundancies of permanent workers at the plant management attempted to replace the depleted workforce with agency workers on zero hours contracts. This cheap labour gives the agency worker no financial security and leads the way to undermine the pay and conditions of full time workers.

Tom a striker said ‘Zero contract hour contracts mean that we will be working for next to nothing, with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. It is important for other workers to support us in this fight ‘.

It really is! Anyone who can join the picket line at Cale Lane, Aspull, Wigan should go and show solidarity. People are made to feel more than welcome and their support is warmly received. The strikers are aware of how important it is to gain Trade Union and public support and urge people to join them. Members of other Trade Unions have been showing their Solidarity – Unite, Unison and PCS and on Saturday there will be a joint Trade Union stall leafleting to raise awareness of the Hovis strikers plight and a collection at 11am in the town centre.hovis scabs out

Management have been bussing in agency workers from Newcastle and Birmingham. Some of them just recently made redundant from the Birmingham factory. Management are paying for the agency workers to stay in hotels whilst they are working at the plant. Rumours are circulating that the agency workers are on a 6 week contract and receiving grossly inflated weekly wages in exchange for scabbing. The canteen and vending machine are also believed to be free for these scabs.

Strikers and members of other unions who have joined the picket line have been stopping wagons and speaking to the drivers, with the vast majority of drivers refusing to cross the picket line and management having to drive the wagons into the plant. Production has undoubtedly slowed down and management have made the workers a proposal.

Staff have a meeting this afternoon (Friday). The workers remain resolute, they are not willing to accept anything less than a restoration if their previous hours, no agency workers and no zero contract hours.

Zero hour contracts is an issue that affects many people and is becoming increasingly common as bosses exploit the fact that unemployment is so high, unless we stand together as the Working Class and fight together the bosses will continue to erode our rights and terms and conditions until we have none left.

Solidarity to the strikers

Katrina Lawrie


Have you sent a message of support? Could you do a collection?

Unite the Resistance has produced a collection sheet for the strikers, click here to download it

Rush messages of solidarity for the strikers to: 07739326011 roy.streeter@bfawu.org   region4@bfawu.org

Send workplace collections and trade union branch solidarity donations by cheque, paybale to ‘BFAWU’ and send to: 348 Chester Road, Cornbrook, Manchester, M16 9EZ

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