GMB to protest over Warburtons-owned Giles Foods

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Morrisons stores are to be targeted by the GMB union in a row with Warburton-owned supplier Giles Foods
Morrisons stores are to be targeted by the GMB union in a row with Warburton-owned supplier Giles Foods

Related tags: Baking, Gmb

Union GMB is planning to stage a series of protests outside supermarket chains Lidl and Morrisons, over a dispute at Warburtons-owned supplier Giles Foods.

The union said the dispute was related to breaks and lunchtimes effectively being cut as staff were now required to change in and out of work overalls in their own time.

Shortened lunch breaks

The GMB said that due to crowded changing facilities and the position of the clocking machine, the requirement had shortened the length of the employees’ lunch breaks.

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-label by Morrisons and Lidl.

The first protest is set to take place on Tuesday, May 10 2016 at the Lidl store on Barnfield Road, Swindon.

Collective grievance

On March 17, 2016 GMB members at Giles Food presented the management with a collective grievance signed by the affected staff. The dispute has also escalated as GMB members presented a further petition to the management concerning the suspension of a shop steward.

A spokesman for Giles Foods said: We are aware of the comments made by the GMB and are currently looking into the situation.”

In March, Warburtons was the first food manufacturer to make it to the Sunday Times​ Top 25 best Big Companies. The survey, started in 2001, analyses the views of employees on eight key areas including leadership and personal growth, while getting the opinions about their bosses, working conditions and employer values.

Morrisons said it would not be commenting while Lidl said it had just become been notified and would be looking into it.  

Meanwhile, in separate developments, both 2 Sisters Food Group and Samworth Brothers were recently involved in disputes over the National Living Wage. 

2 Sisters found itself drawn into a row at its Pennine Foods site​ in Sheffield last week with the Bakers and Allied Food Workers Union. 

Samworth Brothers became embroiled in a row about alleged cuts to pay and conditions​ at its Bradgate Bakery in Leicester, after a Channel Four news item.

Related topics: Bakery, Cereals and bakery preparations

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