400 staff members at Sheffield’s Pennine Foods factory, which makes M&S ready meals, have been on strike in a 48-hour walkout.
Factory workers on very low pay will lose, £5,000 a year, extra weekend pay and lieu days for working weekends and bank holidays, under contract changes.
After a ballot, 90% of the workforce would refuse the new contract.
John Higgins, regional secretary of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU), said the company was attacking his members’ terms and conditions to “make money back”. “People are entitled to work for a better living wage not for a worse living wage”.
The initial 48-hour action was a resounding success with mass pickets of between 100-200 pickets for the duration of the strike.
Pleased to report we turned away a majority of deliveries, a small number of agency staff refused to cross but we delivered a major blow. Showing the employer that the unity among our members is strong and determined.
If we are to escalate action, we will need considerable support from the Trade Union movement.
I would like to extend my thanks to the local trade union movement for your solidarity during the strike and for your ongoing support.
The experience of the wider movement was and is vital in lifting the confidence of our members who work at Pennine.
Particular mentions should go to:
CWU who agreed not to cross pickets
Sheffield SWP branch who made a significant donation to the strike fund
PCS members on Strike at Sheffield BIS who joined us on the picket
Sheffield Trades Council
Chesterfield Trades Council
Sheffield Labour Party
Fast Food Rights Campaign
Socialist Workers Party
Sheffield Socialist Party
Unite The Union
Unite The Resistance
Disabled People Against Cuts
Well Red Films
Also a big Thank you on behalf of our members to all those individuals from various organisations which joined us on the picket.
I don’t think we can underestimate the impact your support has on our members; they are inspired by your support.
If there is anyone I missed I apologise
If you would like BFAWU to speak to your members, or at your events, please contact Branch Secretary:
Deborah.Loy@2sfg.com or Harron.Rashid@bfawu.org
Please make cheques payable to Deborah Loy and send them to:
BFAWU Pennine Strike Fund,Thompsons Solicitors, McLaren Building, 35 Dale End, Birmingham B4 7LF.
Up and Coming Action
Wednesday 25th May 5pm-6pm
Support the Pennine worker’s solidarity picket of M&S Fargate Sheffield.
NB: For those attending parking is available at: Central United Reform Church, Norfolk Street, Sheffield, S1 2JB. Facebook
Next two days of strike action will be Sunday Monday 5th & 6thJune
Please join us on the Pickets at Pennine Food from 6am
Sheffield S20 7JG near crystal peaks
For further information on this strike please contact regional organiser Haroon Rashid Haroon.firstname.lastname@example.org
BFAWU Community Organiser