Result confirms that union-organised workforces can win
Susan Fitzgerald, Regional Coordinating Officer for Unite, commended the workforce at Allied Bakeries in Northern Ireland whose decisive and powerful strike action on Sunday won a significantly improved pay offer which was subsequently accepted by the workforce, ending the industrial dispute.
“The workers at Allied Bakeries have voted overwhelmingly with a ninety percent majority to accept the significantly improved pay offer made by the company. This provides an above-inflation pay increase and will mean that instead of real terms incomes falling as would have been the case with offers only days ago, these workers will now enjoy a real-terms pay increase.
“This outcome was hard won and was only achieved through the strength and militancy of the workers themselves. Indeed the failure by management stooges to breach the workers’ picket line was the decisive factor in winning this uplift and forced bosses to the negotiating table.
“This is the second recent win for our members in Northern Ireland Bakeries – both of which came on the back of strong votes for industrial action after below-inflation pay increases were rejected by workers. In the case of Hovis, managers averted a strike by moving quickly to show some respect and increase their offer – in the case of Allied Bakeries it took workers taking to picket lines in freezing conditions for them to see sense.
“Strike action is always a last resort for workers and no union enters into an industrial dispute lightly – but it should be clear to bosses that when Unite enters an industrial dispute it does so fully committed to securing a win for our members. Let’s hope bosses take notice of this result and resolve to meet workers’ pay expectations so as to avoid further unnecessary strikes”, Ms Fitzgerald said.