Picket lines to remain in force at Hovis’ Apollo Road site as bread shortages mount across retail outlets in Northern Ireland
Unions invite Hovis management continue engagement through Labour Relations Agency with aim of resolving pay dispute
Sean McKeever, Regional Officer for Unite confirmed that today’s talks with management which were aimed at ending the strike action at Hovis in Northern Ireland had ended without agreement. Strike action at the site is set to continue into its sixth day as reports mount of bread shortages across Northern Ireland.
“As a result of the Unite and the Baker’s union strike at Hovis in Belfast, all baking activities at the company’s Apollo Road site halted last Thursday. Given that this site produces at least one-third of all the bread consumed in Northern Ireland and the difficulties associated with importing bread from Great Britain post-Brexit, the workers’ strike action is having a huge impact.
“Yesterday evening, management made contact with both unions to invite us to talks on ending the dispute.Unfortunately those talks, which occurred at a neutral venue this afternoon, have now ended without agreement. While management put forward an improved pay offer – it was one that totally failed to meet our members demand for pay parity, let alone recognised the evidence suggesting a rapid increase in inflation.
“Despite the failure of today’s talks, both unions invited Hovis management to continue to engage with ourselves through the offices of the Labour Relations Agency with an aim of resolving this dispute.
“Picket lines at the company’s Apollo Road site will remain in place until we get an offer that recognises the legitimate expectation of Hovis workers in Northern Ireland to equal pay with that received by employees at their sites in Great Britain. Hovis management must now move quickly to end this dispute, deliver pay parity and end the unnecessary inconvenience caused to consumers who are increasingly greeted with empty shelves when looking to buy a loaf of bread”, Mr McKeever concluded.