Bakers’ union BFAWU demands minimum wage hike

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

The BFAWU is arguing for a living wage
The BFAWU is arguing for a living wage

Related tags Minimum wage

The minimum wage should rise to £10 an hour, according to the Bakery Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU), which today launched a campaign to drive it up (February 19).

The union is arguing for an across-the-board increase, not just higher pay for food industry employees, because it claims working people currently have to be supported with benefits.

It wants the practice employed by large corporations to cut pay and force workers to rely on state handouts to be brought to an end.

By making work pay and providing a living wage, five million people would be lifted out of poverty and the ballooning benefit bill would be reduced, said the union. The money saved could then be diverted to help fund the NHS and improve communities.

‘Pie in the sky’

The BFAWU plans to launch an animated video to help spread the message that £10 an hour is not “pie in the sky”​ at a rally in Newcastle today as part of the Fast Food Rights campaign.

Supporters are being encouraged to share the animation using the hashtag #hungryforjustice.

“Over the years, we have seen business after business seizing the opportunity to cut pay and force workers to rely on state handouts,”​ said BFAWU national president Ian Hodson.

“Businesses and companies have the ability to enrich people’s lives and make a valuable contribution to society, yet so many of them have decided to tread the path of exploitation and misery, forcing those who work for them into a cycle of debt that they will never be able to get out of.”

Tax avoidance loopholes

Hodson claimed people were beginning to realise the UK’s financial woes were not driven by benefit claimants, but by corporations finding tax avoidance loopholes.

Not only that, but the government had targeted those at the lowest end of the pay scale and systematically demonised those in need of support, such as the sick, disabled and the unemployed, he said. Yet, at the same time it had protected companies that chose to operate in a grossly immoral fashion, he argued.

“We believe that the way to improve society is to make work pay and the minimum wage should be at least £10 an hour. We don't believe it’s pie in the sky. It’s a living wage.”

Related topics People & Skills Bakery

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