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From The Socialist newspaper, 15 June 2016

Pennine Foods strike forces bosses back to the table

Picket line at Pennine Foods photo Alistair Tice

Picket line at Pennine Foods photo Alistair Tice   (Click to enlarge)

Chris McAndrew and Joe Diviney

Strike action has scored a victory at Pennine Foods in Sheffield.

Bosses have suspended implementation of new contracts, and agreed to backdate a 2% pay rise for all workers to last August. Negotiations are still ongoing, with bakers' union BFAWU saying parent company 2 Sisters is making "major moves in our direction."

Management tried to make workers pay for Tory chancellor George Osborne's new National 'Living Wage'. Some staff faced losing up to 5,000. BFAWU, which has 400 members at the factory, staged two 48-hour strikes against new contracts.

After the first stoppage, bosses sent a letter to strikers saying how "disappointed" the company was, and claimed it had not affected production. This did not stand up to reason during the next strike.

A hundred-strong picket line ensured no lorries got in or out for the duration, shutting down the factory. The strike cost the company thousands.

After seeing off attempts by South Yorkshire Police to escort lorries across the line, a mass meeting voted for a week of strike action. Faced with a whole week of lost profits, management returned to the negotiating table.

BFAWU members will want to remain vigilant and ready to strike again if bosses try to make savings in the new contract. Workers remain enthusiastic. One said they are "ready to go at a moment's notice."

This victory shows the importance of bold and resolute strike action.

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In The Socialist 15 June 2016:


EU referendum

EU referendum: whatever the result, political turmoil is ahead

EU: busting the myths that Remain is best for the 99%

TUSC anti-EU tour touches down in Wales

BT Brexit baloney

Letters: EU referendum


International socialist news and analysis

Orlando massacre: working class unity to defeat homophobia, terrorism and racism

France: workers' revolt against labour law grows


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Hilarious, innovative satire on state bureaucracy


Workplace news and analysis

Unison conference 2016: fighting leadership needed more than ever

GMB backs no-cuts budgets and steel nationalisation

Pennine Foods strike forces bosses back to the table

Hospital porters and domestic staff claim jobs and pay victory

Strike at Argos depot against contracting out of jobs

Buses parked three deep in Leeds strike

School support staff mobilise against slashing of pay

Uber drivers strike against unfair fares

Lorry stoppage paves the way to victory

Solidarity with victimised bakers' union rep


Housing crisis

Action to defeat the Housing Act: we won't move!

Housing Act: landlords and developers set to profit

Generation rent demands affordable housing


NHS

Re-open Chorley A&E - end the staff shortages

Hands Off HRI campaign grows from strength to strength


Socialist Party news and analysis

Systemic failures hurt kids in justice system

Them & Us

Socialist Party fundraising: punching above our weight


 

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