8 September 2013
BFAWU are pleased to announce that strike action has brought about the end of zero hour contracts at Hovis, Wigan despite the company’s claim that they didn’t use them. We can now confirm that on August 30th, following the company’s admission that they did use zero hour contracts after all, the remaining zero hours contracted workers where given full time permanent contracts. This means that the workers concerned will now enjoy the same pay and employment rights as those they work alongside with. We congratulate these 24 new employees on securing permanent employment and hope they have long and happy careers with the company. We also congratulate BFAWU members on site whose action brought about this positive resolution.
Whilst we welcome this move by the company, the further strike action due to commence on September 11th will proceed as planned. The reason for this is that although the company have stopped issuing zero hour contracts, they have not stopped using agency labour. In fact, the company plan to widen the use of agency labour on site, as well as instil the ‘Swedish Derogation’ model. The Union is concerned that this will lead to zero hour contracts merely being supplied by a third party.
The workforce at Hovis, Wigan are clear; they do not want to see working people on less pay and no employment rights. They want those they will work alongside to earn the same rates of pay as them. They do not wish to see them relying on state handouts to top up their incomes, nor do they want to see them being unable to take paid holidays or being frightened of raising employment or safety concerns for fear of reprisals and losing work.
The dispute at Wigan calls on working people, those on zero hour contracts, agency workers, the unemployed, those that have been forced on to workfare, the sick and the disabled, parents communities and our great Labour Movement to support the principled stand of the workforce at Wigan and to honour and support their picket.
This may be a Hovis dispute, but we know this is also a national issue. We hope the actions of the workers at Hovis act as a catalyst for stopping the exploitation of people in the UK.
Join striking BFAWU members on the picket at the Hovis bakery, Cale Lane, Wigan, for a day of solidarity from 6.00am onwards on Wednesday, September 11th. Give them your support.