Bakkavor Bo’ness workers launch overtime ban and strike

Workers at M&S supplier Bakkavor in Bo’ness are launching an overtime ban from midnight tonight, and are to stage a one day strike on Wednesday.

The action by GMB members aims to force a resolution of a dispute which has dragged on since October, and follows a “derisory” offer of a 2.27 per cent increase - said to represent just six pence per hour for the lowest paid workers.

The union says it expects robust support from its members among the firm’s 355-strong workforce.

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The overtime ban will initially run until May 7, while the strike may be followed by similar targeted action if no resolution is forthcoming.

A company spokesperson said: “We have made a pay award to employees equating to a 2.75% increase which is above the UK inflation rate, therefore we are not going to recommence the 2018 pay negotiations.

“We remain disappointed that the GMB continues to create this unsettling environment for our colleagues but have a robust contingency plan in place for the duration of the industrial action.”

However GMB says its action will commence from midnight.

Christina Lambie, GMB Scotland Organiser, said: “GMB does not wish our already low paid members to lose money due to strike action, but Bakkavor need to know our members will not stand for being exploited.

“This company will stoop to any level to stop our members’ democratic right to take lawful industrial action and to try and discredit GMB for defending our members’ interests.

“Our members deserve so much better than the poverty pay they receive from this hugely profitable company, who make high quality products for the food shop of choice of those who can afford the luxury - M&S.

“GMB will meet with the company at any time to resolve this dispute. It is in their gift to do so”.

She added: “On Wednesday we will be trying to prevent people and vehicles crossing our picket lines by using peaceful persuasion.

“We do not know what effect the action starting tonight will have, between now and May 7, because we don’t know what the company are trying to do inside - but we do expect it to have an impact”.