Police called to 2 Sisters’ Pennine factory during strike

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

BFAWU boss described the protest as 'very amicable'
BFAWU boss described the protest as 'very amicable'

Related tags: Sisters food group, Strike action, Trade union

Police were called to the 2 Sisters Food Group’s Pennine Foods factory in Sheffield on Monday (June 6) during strike action by the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU).

BFAWU members conducted a 48h walk-out on Sunday, June 5, with the strike action ending at 6am yesterday (June 7).

Union members were striking over plans to change their employment contracts.

The BFAWU claimed some of its members would lose £5,000 after changes to contracts. The union claimed the changes would end extra weekend pay and days in lieu for weekend and bank holiday working.

‘Very amicable’

BFAWU general secretary Ronnie Draper confirmed the police visited the site but said the situation was “very amicable”.     

Draper told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “The company wanted to get two trailers out and their job was to facilitate that,” ​he said. 

“The company asked us if we could let the trailer out but that defeats the object of being on strike.”

The union boss also confirmed that a week-long strike was planned to begin at the Sheffield factory from Thursday, June 16.

“We have asked the company to sit down and talk,”​ he added.

The BFAWU also staged a 48h walk-out in May.

‘Long-term job security’

A Pennine Foods spokesman told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “It is critical we create a sustainable business at Pennine to provide long-term job security.

“It is regrettable that we have yet to reach agreement with some colleagues, but talks are on-going.

“The majority support our changes and will be better off as a result. Production is unaffected and it’s very much business as usual.”

The 2 Sisters Food Group was also in dispute with union members at two other sites.

BFAWU members at RF Brookes factory in Rogerstone, Newport conducted a 48h strike​ from 5am on June 2 to Saturday June 4 over changes in working conditions.

The plant was said to employ 800 workers, of which 420 were union members.

The union is currently in talks with the company and the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service at the factory in Rogerstone. 

Meanwhile, Unite members at the 2 Sisters’ Pizza factory in Nottingham were voting on strike action over an outstanding pay claim for 2015.

Unite was balloting 440 members at the Nottingham site​. It had accused the company of trying to get staff to sign away their terms and conditions in exchange for a non-negotiated pay deal, which the manufacturer denied.

Related topics: Bakery, Cereals and bakery preparations

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