GMB Launches Series Of Protests Outside Supermarkets Over Reduced Lunch Times And Victimisation Of Shop Steward By Wiltshire Bakery
Management at Giles Foods at Warminster is consistently aggressive and unreasonable to our members says GMB.
GMB will hold a series of protests outside supermarkets that are supplied own-brand bakery products by Giles Foods starting on Tuesday, 10th May 2016 over reductions to employees’ lunchtimes.
The Giles Food bakery in Warminster, Wiltshire, recently reduced lunch times, by requiring staff to change in and out of work overalls in their own time. Due to crowded changing facilities, and the position of the clocking machine this has halved the effective length of their lunch break.
Giles Foods is a wholly owned subsidiary of Warburtons, and manufactures Chelsea buns, croissants and other speciality baked goods that are then sold as own-brand by Morrisons and Lidl.
GMB members will protest with flags and banners at 12.00pm on Tuesday, 10th May 2016 at the address as follows:
3 Barnfield Rd,
Carole Vallelly, GMB Regional Organiser, said “Management at Giles Foods at Warminster is consistently aggressive and unreasonable to our members.
On March 17th, GMB members at Giles Food presented the management with a collective grievance signed by the overwhelming majority of affected staff. The management responded by suspending the GMB shop steward on trumped up allegations. Subsequently, GMB members presented a further petition to the management signed by the overwhelming majority of production staff, giving evidence that the shop steward is innocent, and asking for their grievance to be heard.
GMB has pointed out to them that they have a statutory obligation to hear grievances under the law, but a month after the grievance was submitted they have still not heard it. This is in clear breach of the ACAS guidance that grievances must be heard promptly.
Both the local management and Giles Foods’ national HR have justified themselves by saying that ‘nothing has changed’, even though we have an email from the same local manager confirming that there have been changes. This suggests that they have already made up their mind to disregard the grievance before even hearing from their employees.
The worst aspect is the victimization of a GMB shop steward for presenting the grievance to the management; and the fact that a month after his suspension they have still not had a formal hearing. Giles Food management seem to have a provocative approach to industrial relations that is very much out of keeping with the ethos of Morrisons who they supply.
The issue itself, of making staff change into and out of their work overalls in their own short lunch time reminds me of the bad old days of coal barons refusing to pay miners for the end of shift bath and shower times. The staff at Giles have to rush to change in a cramped space that is undermining of their dignity; and GMB will not stand by while managers bully our members like overseers in a 19th century coal mine.
GMB will also be arranging a round of protests at stores selling goods from Giles Foods, starting with Lidl.”
Contact: Carole Vallelly on 07912 181476 or GMB press office on 07739 182691 or 07970 863411