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From The Socialist newspaper, 22 January 2020

Belfast Hovis workers' all-out strike

Hovis workers are striking in Belfast, photo by Urban Wired/CC

Hovis workers are striking in Belfast, photo by Urban Wired/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Hovis workers in the Bakers and Unite trade unions have voted for an all-out strike in Belfast, Northern Ireland for better pay.

Picket lines will start at one minute past midnight on 24 January after an 88% majority voted for strike action to win their 5.1% pay claim.

Unite says that after deducting shift premiums, overtime and bonuses, Hovis workers receive a basic wage 90p below the national minimum wage threshold.

Unite officer Sean McKeever says: "Unfortunately management has completely failed to address legitimate pay expectations in recent pay talks. Bosses refused to meet the pay claim and instead offered a meagre 23p an hour uplift (3.2%). In effect, bosses are forcing workers to the gate for less than 14p an hour in terms of a differential. This is both scandalous and an insult to the workforce.

"Workers are determined to secure themselves fair pay."

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 22 January 2020:


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Renewing the left in PCS

A win against academisation in east London

Belfast Hovis workers' all-out strike

Westex strikers read the Socialist

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The Socialist inbox

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