Hovis workers accept four per cent pay offer

An offer to increase pay by four per cent has been accepted for workers at the Hovis bakery in Belfast
Ryan McAleer

WORKERS at Belfast's Hovis bakery have voted to end industrial action and accept an improved pay offer.

The Unite union said 88 per cent of workers balloted at the Apollo Road facility in the south of the city had backed plans for an all-out strike.

The industrial action, originally planned for January 24, had the potential to disrupt bread supplies around the north. However it was called off after the company made an improved offer.

Formed in 2014, Hovis Ltd is jointly owned by Premier Foods and The Gores Group. Its bread products include the Ormo range.

It's understood that the original offer of 3.2 per cent has been increased to four per cent, which has now been endorsed by workers. Unite had originally put forward a claim for a 5.1 per cent pay increase.

Sean McKeever, regional officer for Unite, welcomed the resolution to the pay dispute.

He said the result demonstrated the importance of union organising power and readiness to take strike action.

"I'm very proud of our members at Hovis who have demonstrated the power of a union through their willingness to take all-out strike action in pursuit of a fair pay settlement,” he said.

"The workforce voted by 88 percent to take industrial action rejecting a pay offer which was only one percent above the current inflation rate.

“Two days before the commencement of all-out strike action, bosses reverted with a four percent pay offer which they have now voted to accept.

"This is an inflation-busting pay increase - which will make a real difference to the lives of our members in Hovis and their families.”

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