Samworth Brothers’ workers plan Living Wage protest

By Michelle Perrett contact

- Last updated on GMT

Ginsters owner Samworth Brothers faces a head office protest on Sunday
Ginsters owner Samworth Brothers faces a head office protest on Sunday

Related tags: National living wage, Samworth brothers, Employment, Trade union

A demonstration is to take place outside Samworth Brothers head office in Melton Mowbray on Sunday, June 26 over workers’ pay and conditions.

According to the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) regional officer George Atwall, its members as well as those from unions Unite and the Trades Union Congress, local Councillors and Members of Parliament are likely to be present to highlight their concerns.

The move comes as Samworth Brothers, the manufacturer of Gingster, said it had concluded its consultation with employees about a “more balanced and equitable pay structure”. ​It said it would be investing an extra £5M in its pay bill each year over the next three years.

In April, the company found itself at the centre of a row about pay and conditions allegedly made to off set the National Living Wage​ after Channel Four news claimed it had seen company documents concerning the cuts.

The BFAWU, which is not recognised by Samworths, claimed the proposed changes would leave many staff worse off.

‘We have continued to listen’

In a statement Samworth Brothers said: “This has been a collaborative process during which we have continued to listen to and act upon feedback from our staff consultative committees.”

Samworth said employees at its Leicestershire production site would benefit from new rates which are above the National Living Wage. No employee would see his or her contracted pay go backwards and there would be an enhanced benefits package, it claimed. Samworth also said that the review process started two years ago before the National Living Wage was announced.

The manufacturer’s ceo Alex Knight said: “I am extremely proud of the strong relationship we have always had with our staff. That is why I am delighted that after this period of consultation, which included extensive and direct dialogue with employees, we have achieved this outcome.

“As a family business we pride ourselves on our role in the local community, serving that community and being a trusted employer.”

£5M a year

However, after a meeting of BFAWU last week Atwall said workers had asked for a breakdown of where this £5M a year was being spent.

“We are calling for breakdown of the £5M as workers say they are still going to be losing money.”

He said that hundreds or workers had joined the union in recent months.

“No matter how many nice-sounding words Samworth Brothers use to dress up their continuing attacks on our members pay and conditions, there can be no doubt that, from start-to-finish, the entire consultation process has been a farce.”

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