Next month, the Leicester Mercury business awards will be held at the luxurious Platinum Suite, and “food manufacturer Samworth Brothers is again sponsoring this year’s Excellence in Manufacturing Award” (March 1, Mercury).
Senior executive, Jim Waller, expounded the Samworth Brothers reasons for sponsoring the award, noting his desire to “highlight those business that are flourishing” and eagerness to “celebrate the achievements of the people driving the success.”
For those wanting to attend the awards ceremony a ticket will cost you just shy of £100. Not a price within range of most of the workers employed by the Samworth Brothers.
Considering the nature of the unfolding attacks upon the pay of workers employed at Samworth’s factories across Leicestershire, it would seem likely that the only reason many workers would have to attend would be to protest against the far from excellent actions of their employer.
With pre-tax profits up to £41.7 million, Samworth’s profit margins are sailing high, all thanks to the hard labour of thousands of their workers. But you won’t see the bosses at Samworth Brothers celebrating their workers achievements any time soon. Quite the opposite, in fact: Samworth senior management are presently doing their best to spin an attack on their employees pay as something the workers should be grateful for.
The irony is that this is the same Samworth Brothers whose website boasts that it “values… embrace a deep commitment to people and communities…” The site makes clear: “People are at the heart of our company”; “Samworth Brothers’ cornerstone is its people.” Although it is laughable given the circumstances, Samworth even go so far as to say that they “encourage a culture of opportunity” in their workplaces.
Management are evidently grateful for the “loyalty and dedication” of their employees, but this hasn’t stopped them taking their hard (and underpaid) work for granted.
This complacency was demonstrated at a recent public meeting called by the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union where one shop floor worker described the “patronizing” and “bullying” manner in which their Managing Director had ‘consulted’ with staff over the proposed downgrading of their pay.
The arrogant boss in question apparently said that if workers did not agree with the proposed changes they “could just leave,” adding that they could easily “be replaced by machinery”.
The workers employed by Samworth Brothers, however, know when they are being sold a whopping pork-pie (lie) by management, hence they are joining the Bakers union in their droves. Let’s wish them good luck!
This letter was emailed to the Leicester Mercury on March 2.
As the web site for the business event points out: