Sacked team leader and BFAWU activist, Kumaran Bose, met with MPs including shadow ministers on 6/12/16 in order to discuss his recent dismissal from Ginsters manufacturer, Samworth Brothers Foods.
Kumaran spoke at length about how workers were left devastated by the slashing of their pay and conditions. He explained that many of them were left in tears, asking how they would afford to live. MPs listened and were shocked at the behaviour of this hugely profitable company, owned by one of the wealthiest men in the UK; someone who has built up a reputation in the public of being a fair and reasonable man.
It appears that the workers have a different story to tell, as was exposed recently by Channel 4 News. The slashing of workers' pay to fund the implementation of the ‘living wage’ in April 2016 is nothing short of disgraceful, but it is by no means an isolated case in the food industry. After speaking to Kumaran, MPs agreed that they would take measures to assist him, which will include approaching senior management at Samworth Brothers and inviting them to discuss their decisions about Kumaran Bose, but also to not slash their workers’ terms and conditions. They also agreed to take part in a rally that is being organised by the BFAWU, in order to highlight the impact of the so-called living wage, which far from boosting low wages, has actually led to a cut in income for some of the lowest paid people in the UK.
Sadly, since April, many profitable organisations have taken the decision to make their own workforces fund the small pay increase given to them by the then Chancellor, George Osbourne, as part of his ‘living wage’. It has recently emerged that a number of organisations, including Samworth Brothers are even going as far as to issue new contracts that will in addition to requiring workers to be available to work on Christmas Day, leave their workers significantly out of pocket throughout the year whilst the company’s profits continue to soar.
Ian Hodson (BFAWU National President)
Email: email@example.com Twitter: @IanBFAWU