VIDEO: Dronfield workers strike after 28p rise rejected

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Workers at a Dronfield bakery have began a 48 hour strike after company bosses refused a 28p an hour pay rise for its lowest paid employees.

Staff at Gunstones Bakery balloted for strike action after bosses turned down the rise which equates to four per cent.

Strike outside Gunstones Bakery, Stubley Lane. Picture: Andrew Roe

Strike outside Gunstones Bakery, Stubley Lane. Picture: Andrew Roe

The Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union – BFAWU – said 87 per cent of members balloted for industrial action from a 39 per cent turnout.

Gunstones has lost a £33 million contract to make M&S sandwiches which meant 427 redundancies at the factory.

John Higgins, Midlands branch secretary of the BFAWU, said workers faced no choice.

He said: “They are fed up and some of them are sorry that they didn’t take voluntary redundancies.

Strike outside Gunstones Bakery, Stubley Lane. Picture: Andrew Roe

Strike outside Gunstones Bakery, Stubley Lane. Picture: Andrew Roe

“They don’t feel like the management treat them well they treat them like commodities and they’re treated like they’re lucky to have a job.

“We’re drawing a line in the sand. We’re not talking about people on the higher part of the pay deal, we’re talking about people on the bottom of the pay scale.

“To push them any lower would be unlivable on the terms and conditions that Gunstones are putting forward.”

A Gunstones spokesperson said: “We are keen to continue meaningful talks with colleagues and their Union representatives so that we can reach a mutually satisfactory conclusion.

Strike outside Gunstones Bakery, Stubley Lane. Picture: Andrew Roe

Strike outside Gunstones Bakery, Stubley Lane. Picture: Andrew Roe

“We hoped that industrial action would be avoided whilst talks are ongoing.

“We are working with our customers and have created contingency plans which will minimise the effects of action.”

John Higgins added that two further days of strike action were planned for July 16 and 17 if the dispute was not resolved.

2 Sisters Food Group which owns the Gunstones recorded £3.4bn in sales last year.

The company which also makes Foxes biscuits and Goodfella’s pizza is owned by Ranjit Singh Boparan who is worth £190m.