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GMB to hold protest at Marks and Spencer HQ

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

GMB To Hold Protest At Marks And Spencer HQ On Friday 16th September 2016

This is an issue for all of Bakkavor’s customers who have strong ethical and moral standards to uphold says GMB


GMB, the union for workers in the food industry, will hold a protest at midday on Friday, 16th September 2016 at Marks and Spencer Headquarters in London over proposals to cut hours, change shift patterns and transfer employees between sites at major food supplier Bakkavor Meals.

Bakkavor Meals London, which supplies food to supermarkets including Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, plans to extend working hours to 3 am in its houmous making section and to cut workers’ hours resulting in a loss of £14.40 a week. The company withdrew proposals to cut shift and bank holiday premiums and change holiday terms and conditions following negotiations with GMB.

The demonstration will commence at 12 noon on Friday 16th September 2016 at the address as follows:

Marks and Spencer Head Office
Waterside House

35 North Wharf Road
London
W2 1NW



Tony Warr, GMB senior organiser, said "We welcome the company's decisions to halt proposals on terms and conditions and its annual leave policy and to include GMB in a vital role in both sets of discussions.

However, issues around the shift patterns for workers producing houmous are unresolved and there remains a fundamental difference of opinion between the union and Bakkavor with regard to the compulsory transfer of large numbers of employees from one site to another.

The company refuses to recognise that our members cannot afford the proposed pay cut of £14.40 a week when they are already on such low wages. They appear oblivious to the fact that many workers, over half of who are women, will be stranded in Park Royal at 3am in the morning with no transport to get home.

Bakkavor Meals has said it understands the family and childcare commitments of our members yet it has proposed nothing other than redundancy if our members cannot work the new pattern. Despite this, the company has now said there will be "no redundancies" until a review in January. Talks have taken place at the arbitration service, Acas without a resolution.

The company says this is not an issue for Marks and Spencer. They are wrong. It is an issue for all of their customers who have strong ethical and moral standards to uphold and who regularly audit Bakkavor to ensure these are maintained.

GMB has therefore decided to take this ongoing issue to Marks and Spencer, one of the main customers of Bakkavor Meals London, with further demonstrations at the Headquarters of other Bakkavor customers to follow."


End

Contact: Tony Warr on 07710 631 336 or GMB press office on 07958 156846 or press.office@gmb.org.uk

 

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