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Bootle bakers launch 48hr strike after negotiations bring no reasonable settlement

West Derby MP Ian Byrne with striking Allied Bakeries workers

Members of the BFAWU (Bakers Food and Allied Workers, or Bakers’) union at Allied Bakeries in Bootle on Merseyside have launched a 48-hour strike after attempts to achieve a fair pay rise through negotiation proved fruitless. The workers have been offered a ten percent rise, but split across two years, a below-inflation rate that would leave them facing yet more real-terms pay cuts.

The Bakers have long drawn attention to the way their members – treated as ‘essential’ workers in food production during the pandemic – are now being impoverished by corporate greed in the pursuit of profit and have criticised Allied, which produced Kingsmill bread among its well-known brands, for

boasting about their successful increases in profits and shareholder rewards

while failing to give workers the pay rise they need to properly care for their families.

The picket has seen support from Merseyside MPs Ian Byrne, Mick Whitley and Kim Johnson. Shamefully, other MPs in the region close to Keir Starmer have so far failed to show their faces or solidarity.

The company has claimed its offer is ‘fair and reasonable’. The Bakers’ lead negotiator Roy Streeter said:

It’s been hard work to get anything near a decent proposal from the company, so much so that workers have taken part in numerous pay ballots, which have failed to meet their minimum requests.

BFAWU president Ian Hodson added that:

While employers see considerable profit increases and can protect themselves from cost rises through price increases, this is not the case for workers.

For BFAWU’s report on poverty and hunger among food workers, read its latest findings, ‘Foodworkers on the Breadline’ here.

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  1. Wot? No angela illeagle or cryarse mcgovern on the picket line?

    More likely to see eric pickles skip his tea.

  2. Support for BFAWU’s Bootle Bakers. Esteem to Merseyside MPs Ian Byrne, Mick Whitley and Kim Johnson for their principled support under the current party management

    BFAWU’s lead negotiator and the striking Bootle workers must know that disaffiliated BFAWU will get no more or less support from Starmer’s PLP than a fully-affiliated union would. In September 2021 BFAWU announced (during Labour’s annual conference) that it would disaffiliate from the party. It cited dissatisfaction with Keir Starmer’s leadership.

    Affiliation under the current regime is not even a ‘Hobson’s Choice’. It’s a ‘go-faster’ stripe that has no effect on speed. Solidarity Bootle Bakers.

  3. 10% pay increase spread over 2 years…….. doesn’t that equate to 5% p.a.? Why not refer it to arbitration by a gov’t appointed ‘independent’ pay review body?

  4. “Shamefully, other MPs in the region close to Keir Starmer have so far failed to show their faces or solidarity.”

    Too busy supporting the government that wants to poison the Ukrainians with depleted uranium.

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