Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/907/23080

From The Socialist newspaper, 22 June 2016

BFAWU conference 2016: "A council of war"

BFAWU members striking against Pennine Foods' contract changes, photo by Alistair Tice

BFAWU members striking against Pennine Foods' contract changes, photo by Alistair Tice   (Click to enlarge)

Rob Williams, Socialist Party industrial organiser

The BFAWU bakers' union conference 12-16 June in Southport felt like a real council of war. This is a union with 20,000 members - that is numerically smaller than others - but huge ambition to defend them at a time when it is under siege from the food employers who want to protect their profits.

The main bulk of BFAWU members are employed in factory bakeries with big companies such as Greggs and 2 Sisters who have been looking either to cut terms and conditions (ironically to make up for the new higher National Living Wage) or close plants and make workers redundant.

The conference took place just as its members in 2 Sisters plants - at Pennine Foods in Sheffield and RF Brookes in Newport - have taken strike action to defend their contracts. Hundreds of workers picketed both plants with tremendous support from fellow trade unionists and socialists, including the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) and the Socialist Party.

Pennine workers have been able to push the company back on their attacks and look to have secured the offer of a 2% pay rise backdated to August 2015. But these fights are bruising as the battle for recognition in Leicester company Samworths demonstrates.

BFAWU member Kumaran Bose has just been sacked and the conference pledged to defend him.

He is from a Tamil background and it was apt that Isai Priya from Tamil Solidarity (TS) was invited to address delegates and committed TS to take the fight for his reinstatement into the Tamil community. Kumaran and BFAWU general secretary Ronnie Draper will both be speaking at the NSSN Conference on 2 July.

Organise

Alongside fighting to maintain its membership in the bakeries, BFAWU has been looking to organise fast food workers by launching Fast Food Rights with the NSSN, Youth Fight for Jobs and other organisations.

A number of delegates from this sector were at conference, some for the first time. Taking inspiration from the $15Now campaign in the US and linking up with unions there, BFAWU has really popularised the demands of the scrapping of zero-hour contracts and a 10 minimum wage.

The main political debate of conference was on the EU referendum. BFAWU general secretary Ronnie Draper and president Ian Hodson correctly exposed the class character of the EU and delegates voted to confirm the union's position of Leave on an anti-austerity basis.

Conference also passed motions condemning the Blairites in Labour who are attacking Jeremy Corbyn as well as supporting the junior doctors struggle.

On a motion about MPs who are jailed for misconduct, Ronnie Draper paid tribute to Militant ex-Labour MP Terry Fields who was sent to prison for not paying the poll tax.

The Socialist Party hosted a very successful fringe meeting on the EU referendum with speakers Tony Mulhearn, surcharged anti-cuts Liverpool Labour councillor and Enrico Tortolano from Trade Unionists Against the EU.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 22 June 2016:


EU referendum

After the EU referendum...get the Tories out!

Left alternative needed to counter austerity, racism and the far right

Merseyside TUSC rally: Standing up for the working class

Stoke TUSC: Exposing the EU Employers' Union


Socialist Party news and analysis

BHS pensions insult

148,000 households faced risk of eviction

Pensions 20x smaller for younger workers

Climate chaos

Brazil budget

Them & Us


LGBT liberation

Solidarity to end LGBT-phobia

LGBT liberation and socialism


Socialist Party workplace news

BFAWU conference 2016: "A council of war"

Reinstate sacked Samworth Brothers union activist

National Museum Wales strikers ballot on offer

Solid strike against "Britain's worst train company"

Unison local government conference 2016


Refugee solidarity

Convoy to Calais: Outrageous blocking of aid for refugees


International socialist news and analysis

Middle East: Isis under pressure on several fronts

CWI news in brief


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Stay Voiceless: Manics' punk spirit is alive and well

The Socialist inbox


Socialist Party campaigns

Parents in Leeds discuss attacks on education

Pathetic fascist 'demonstration' outnumbered in Bristol

Private company running primary care centre goes bust


 

Home   |   The Socialist 22 June 2016   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

BFAWU:

triangleWandsworth Town McDonald's strike protest. Tuesday 12th November 2019. Photo Isai Priya

triangleLondon - 'autumn of discontent'

triangleMcDonald's - Striking to end low pay

triangleThem & Us

triangleTrade union action to end low pay now!

War:

triangleUnite against terrorism, racism, war and austerity

triangleMass united action against the war on Syrian Kurds

triangleCaerphilly Socialist Party: Will there be a Saudi-Iran war in the Middle East?

triangle70 years since the publication of Nineteen Eighty-Four: "But if there was hope, it lay in the proles"

Council:

triangleSocial workers lobby Hull City Council

triangleWorkplace news in brief

trianglePlymouth Blairites side with anti-tenant landlords

Workers:

triangleSouth African Airways workers win wage increase after strike action

triangleThe Great Big Socialist Party Quiz 2019

EU:

triangleThe Brexit battles still to come

NSSN:

triangleLobby of TUC: Upbeat meeting calls for trade union lead to boot out Tories

Tamil:

triangleSri Lanka: Presidential election sees return of dictatorial Rajapaksa clan

Socialist Party:

triangleFight for your future - join the socialists

Food:

triangle'McStrikers' demand 15 an hour

Youth Fight for Jobs:

triangleJarrow March: an inspiring show of solidarity between workers and youth

Fast Food Rights:

triangleHospitality workers coordinate historic strike

Bakers:

triangleMcStrikers and young workers take centre stage at bakers' union 2018 conference

Tony Mulhearn:

triangleCardiff Socialist Party: Tribute to Tony Mulhearn

Rob Williams:

triangleStrike, Protest, Vote - to Kick the Tories out

National Shop Stewards Network:

triangleIt's a strike to ensure the safety of the travelling public

Tamil Solidarity:

triangleTamil Solidarity Day: Linking up oppressed people's struggles

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

4/12/19

Socialist Party

Fight for your future - join the socialists

4/12/19

UCU

Strikes: more determined than ever

4/12/19

Socialist Students

Students and workers united in struggle

4/12/19

South Western Railway

It's a strike to ensure the safety of the travelling public

4/12/19

Surrey

Surrey firefighters to ballot on Christmas industrial action

4/12/19

Hull

Social workers lobby Hull City Council

4/12/19

Climate change

Climate strikes: Students and trade unionists protest together

4/12/19

Socialist Party

Why I joined: "Proud to be a socialist"

4/12/19

Carlisle

Carlisle election meeting: Education - time to make the mega-rich and corporations pay

4/12/19

Council

Workplace news in brief

4/12/19

West Midlands

Solid support for guards on West Midlands Trains

4/12/19

Climate change

Climate change election debate - Corbyn offers best green solutions but needs to go further

4/12/19

The Socialist

Selling the Socialist

4/12/19

Royal Mail

Royal Mail court ruling - national reps meeting and solidarity action essential

4/12/19

RMT

Jared Wood overwhelmingly elected to RMT executive

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


December 2019

November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999