Workers plan march against zero hours

BFAWU union members at the Hovis bakery recently
BFAWU union members at the Hovis bakery recently

WIGAN workers who walked out over zero-hours contracts now plan to show their support for colleagues in the fast food industry.

Members of the Bakery Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) will march through the town centre on Saturday as part of a national day of action to highlight workers’ rights issues.

The BFAWU campaigned last year about the use of zero-hours contracts at the Hovis bakery at New Springs.

Wigan representative Andy Moorhouse said: “Zero-hours contracts are still in use across the fast food industry and we want to let workers know there are support networks out there.

“In particular, young workers who may be doing their shifts without breaks, we want to highlight that they have rights. Young people on short-term contracts may think they should not speak out because they could be targeted. We want these people to know they’re not on their own.”

Following last year’s strikes, Hovis owner Premier Foods agreed to only allow the use of short-term contracted staff when “temporary labour shortages” could not be covered by “existing employees utilising overtime and banked hours.” Union leaders hailed the resolution as an historic agreement that should “be used as a starting point for all UK workers.”

The town centre march to distribute leaflets is part of the Hungry for Justice campaign for fast food industry staff.

BFAWU national president Ian Hodson said: “This campaign is about bringing to an end the heinous zero hours contracts in operation across the industry. It is about people receiving pay that they can live on, it is about fighting for a pay rise for workers. We are talking about hugely profitable companies - they can afford to pay their workers a decent wage.”

The march starts from the bottom of Standishgate and heads toward the town centre at 1pm on Saturday.