Samworth Brothers: the Company Committed to Exploitation

Life President of Samworth Brothers, Sir David Samworth, is a very wealthy man, whose hobbies include organising Fox Hunts for his rich friends and contributing towards the corporate take-over of our children’s schools.

On the latter issue, David isn’t doing so well: one of his academies has proved itself to be such a monumental failure that it was forcibly taken out of his greedy hands (“Failing Samworth Academy gets new sponsor in bid to drive up standards,” Leicester Mercury, January 29, 2016).

Samworth the Exploiter

David and his Tory friends don’t care much for the rights of workers either, and their lavish lifestyles are utterly dependent upon attacking the pay and conditions of the very people who generate their profits. In Sir David Samworth’s case, this means lowering pay… whilst pretending to increase it. This is why many of the thousands of Samworth Brothers’ employees are presently fighting back by joining the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union. http://www.bfawu.org/

Now it turns out that the Samworth Brothers’ keen interest in privatising the public education system is only matched by their happiness to exploit the young, hence they continue to pay younger workers less money for doing exactly the same work as their more mature colleagues. Samworth prefer an unprincipled approach to employing workers that is all too common amongst capitalist businesses where profits are always placed before the living needs of their employees.

So although the government’s new living wage has now been set at £7.20 an hour, Samworth Brothers plan to increase the hourly rate of their younger workers (aged between 18 and 21) to something that is still poverty pay, that is, just £6.75 an hour.

What makes this farcical increase even more deplorable (and divisive) is that this new rate of pay only represents a 53p pay rise, while workers aged over 21 years old, doing exactly the same work, will be getting a pay rise of £1.05. Although it is clear that this so-called pay-rise still represents a pay-cut when one tots up all the other attacks on the workforces current pay and conditions currently being ‘consulted’ on.

It should  be obvious to all that all workers doing the same work, regardless of gender or age, should be paid exactly the same. This is why the Baker’s Union is campaigning alongside other trade unions to ensure that all workers are paid enough so they can live without having to count their pennies.

£10 an hour with no exceptions for all workers seems a fair enough price to pay for all the profits that workers generate for their bosses.

This letter was emailed to the Leicester Mercury mailbox on February 19.

Consultation information

Samworth Brothers workers are joining the Baker’s Union because, by 2018, their employer plans to scrap the doubletime they currently receive for working on Sundays and on Bank Holidays; scrap afternoon shift premiums (currently 10% extra); slash their overtime premium in half (from 50% to 25%) and the same for night shift premiums (30% to 15%).

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9 comments

  1. I have worked for this family owned business for over 15 years. They do look after their employees. You need to see the bigger picture. Private health care, profit share, final salary / contributory pension scheme, free parking, heavily subsidised staff canteen, labour stability, low absence, high stability etc.etc. They are future proofing people’s job security so we don’t end up like S&A, Two Sisters, Northern foods etc. Now tell me where you can get all this and remember it’s still in consultation with more proposals coming back to us. Stop scare mongering the workers and get your facts right. Unions just want to make money from joiners. What happens if a union gets in, the family may close the doors. Have that in your thoughts when thousands of long serving people lose their jobs.

    • I see you have only homed in on one comment about closing the doors. Unions will never get in. A passionate worker speaking at an employee meeting shouted out ‘we don’t want the union’ to applause! Sir David will not speak to Unions and have no time for them as the majority do. What about the other comments I made about the overall package?

  2. Try asking the workers of RF Brookes, S&A Foods & Hovis who have already lost their jobs thanks to being failed by the unions

      • I am not sure if you are winding me up. You say unions play on people’s ignornance, but it seems to me that you are the ignorant one. Just to take one example, have you any idea of the role that unions have played in struggling for, and winning equal pay for women? I would be interested to hear what you made of the recent film Made In Dagenham (2010) see trailer: https://youtu.be/DZ509hHkHO8

    • Unions intefere and have a negative impact on production. Productivity decreases therefore supply to customers are affected. Then customer pulls out as they have done to so many unionised food companies.

  3. A union gives workers some form of defence against arbitrary and retaliatory actions by management. Once a union is recognized in a workplace – and I can’t see why a union shouldn’t be recognized unless management have something to hide – democratically elected and trained members of the union enable workers to stand up to management to ensure they comply with the contract. Why shouldn’t workers have more control over the workplace? Afterall the workers do all the work don’t they?

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