Bread shortages in Northern Ireland likely this weekend as Hovis workers confirm all-out strike action to proceed

Hovis workers in Northern Ireland demand equal pay!

Management offer of a 3 percent pay increase rejected by workforce reps as it does not deliver on Northern Ireland workforce pay parity with Hovis workers in Great Britain

Post-Brexit difficulties in marketplace as a result of red tape barriers to importing bread from Great Britain likely to compounded by protracted halt to production at Belfast site

Sean McKeever, Regional Officer for Unite confirmed that his union’s members at leading UK bakery Hovis in Belfast would be commencing all-out strike action from 6am tomorrow [Friday May 14th]. The move follows the failure of management to meet the demand from its workforce in Northern Ireland for pay parity with Hovis employees in Great Britain.

We had hoped that this morning management would move to address our members’ legitimate demands for pay parity with Hovis employees in Great Britain. That would mean a 10 percent pay increase – sadly, bosses made a totally inadequate 3 percent offer which our reps did not even consider worthwhile to take back to their members for consideration.

“As such, our members have been left with no alternative but to proceed with planned all-out strike action commencing tomorrow. Joint Unite-Baker’s union pickets will be going up outside Hovis from 6am on Friday, May 14th

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Warnings of possibility of bread shortages in Northern Ireland as Unite members in Hovis vote overwhelmingly for strike action

Sean McKeever, Unite Regional Officer

Pickets set to be deployed at Hovis’ South Belfast site from 6am Friday May 14th with commencement of all-out strike action  

Bread production workers who are seeking a 10 percent pay increase, vote with a 90.5 percent majority for strike action

Sean McKeever, Regional Officer called on management at leading UK bakery Hovis in Belfast to move swiftly to address his members’ pay demand. The call comes ahead of the commencement of an all-out strike for a 10 percent pay increase from 6 am this Friday [May 14th].

“Our members, and those of the Baker’s union, at Hovis bakery in Belfast have given their unions an overwhelming mandate for industrial action, up to and including strike action. Unite members voted with a 90.5 percent majority on an exceptionally high turnout for action to secure their objective of a 10 percent pay increase.

“We have notified the employer that in the absence of any movement from them to address their employees’ pay claim, pickets will be going up from 6am on Friday, May 14th. Our members, and those of the Baker’s union, will be commencing all-out strike action after that time.

“In the absence of any movement from management side, and given the significant role of Hovis in local bread production, it is likely that industrial action will result in bread shortages in Northern Ireland. We are therefore calling on Hovis to move swiftly to avoid the unnecessary disruption that will occur if they force this strike”, Mr McKeever concluded.

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RSA accused of introducing ‘essential worker’ self-declaration without consultation

Unite warns that ability of learner drivers to self-declare may undermine public health measures

Driving instructors concerned at GDPR implications of new system

May 5th: Unite, which represents Approved Driving Instructors throughout Ireland, today (Sunday) accused the Road Safety Authority of failing to consult ADIs before introducing a new system allowing learner drivers to self-declare as ‘essential workers’ in order to avail of lessons during Covid-19 restrictions.  

Commenting, Unite Regional Officer Jean O’Dowd said:

“Once again, the Road Safety Authority has ignored driving instructors and unilaterally imposed a new system which is likely to prove unworkable and counter-productive.

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May Day message from Jackie Pollock: Workers stand stronger when we stand together

Jackie Pollock, Unite Regional Secretary in Ireland

After workers have kept public services and the economy going – there can be no going back to exploitation

Workers need to unite to defend themselves from opportunist employers and secure improvements

In a speech marking International Workers’ Day, Unite the union Regional Secretary in Ireland, Jackie Pollock, expressed his thanks to the union’s activists, officers and staff on their huge efforts throughout the pandemic. He pledged that the union will continue defending workers in the face of opportunistic attacks from employers seeking to leverage the Covid pandemic as a way to attack jobs, pay, terms and conditions.

“The last year has been a very difficult one for us all. The Covid pandemic has challenged every organisation and workplace throughout the island of Ireland. 

“Our members have been central to keeping public services and the economy going throughout this pandemic.  This May Day, we also remember all the workers on the front line – from logistics to retail – who have continued doing essential work through successive lockdowns.

“Whether in the public or private sector, the contribution of frontline workers needs to be recognised by governments and a commitment made to afford them the pay they deserve.

“I’m very proud of the way in which our union – our officers, staff and most of all – our workplace reps – have responded to this challenge. It is difficult enough to be a workplace rep in normal times – but in a pandemic it has been even more challenging. 

“I would also like to pay special tribute to our health and safety reps, who have been critical to ensuring that workplaces are Covid-safe – thus protecting not only their members but the general public.

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Unite issues proposals to tackle bogus self-employment

Presumption of employment and new Statutory Code of Practice central to decent work blueprint

Unite, which represents workers in all sectors, today (Sunday) published a set of proposals designed to tackle the scourge of bogus self-employment as well as other precarious working practices.  The proposals have been submitted to the Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection in response to their draft recommendations. The union has identified six key measures which, it said, would address bogus self-employment and other precarious work practices, including those involved in the so-called platform economy.  The measures relate to:

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