Union Demands Proof That Greencore Can’t Pay Key Worker Salaries

Bakers Union meancore 2

Greencore workforce are categorised as key workers, although you wouldn’t know it by the way they treat them so badly!

Greencore profits were up by 1.8% to £367.8 million in the first quarter of this year, but when the global pandemic hit our shores the food manufacturer decided it had to furlough some of their loyal workforce and punish them with a 20% pay cut!

Needless to say the government is paying 80% of the wages of Greencore’s furloughed staff, so it makes sense that Greencore’s millionaire bosses should top-up their workers’ already meagre salaries so during this period of difficulty, their workers can continue to afford to eat.

To put into context exactly how greedy Greencore’s bosses really are, we should consider how much money Greencore it would cost them payto the 20% top-up for three months for 300 full-time factory workers. To do this would only cost the company about a quarter of a million pounds, which is substantially less than the annual pension package of their CEO (see “Greencore to review CEO Coveney’s annual pension contribution after shareholder vote,” Irish Examiner, January 28, 2020).

But as 1,200 full-time key workers have now been furloughed by Greencore, the cost of paying the 20% top-up for three months would be just short of £1 million.

Or put it another way, Greencore could afford to pay all of their furloughed staff by spending the equivalent of 40% of the total annual salary that they give their CEO. (One respectable financial source puts Coveney’s total income from Greencore at a very generous £2,353,000 a year.) So, it is not as if Greencore or it’s CEO is unable to pay their staff fairly… they just don’t want too!

Speaking earlier today to the Northampton Chronicle & Echo (April 4), George Atwall, the regional officer for the Bakers Union, questioned the shocking way in which Greencore are treating their staff. He stated:

“The union is asking for 100 percent pay, which is a 20 percent top up on the furlough pay.

“The majority of people who have been furloughed are on minimum wage and shouldn’t be forced to take a pay cut.

“The union wants clear answers.”

The newspaper article then went on to point out how “other food companies such as Allied Bakeries and M&S are pledging to pay their staff in full with M&S even offering bonuses,” which is precisely why the Bakers Union believes that Greencore could and should do the same.

As one might have expected, Greencore responded to the unions completely fair demands with typical management-speak, whereby they suggested that the union had agreed with their decision to give their furloughed workers a pay cut. The truth is the complete opposite.

Of course, the Bakers Union welcomed Greencore’s statement “We can confirm that we have reluctantly taken the decision to make use of the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for a number of our colleagues…” But the Bakers Union didn’t expect anything less: why wouldn’t Greencore take the free money being offered by the government! That said, the Bakers Union have always been clear that the employer should top up the pay of the furloughed workers, as key workers should never be forced to suffer because of the current pandemic.

During these difficult times, George Atwall and the Bakers Union continue to be a hundred percent behind the Greencore workers, which is not something that can be said about their greedy employer. Atwall believes that Greencore has made plenty of profits from its workers to treat them properly during this crisis. On this matter he is clear:

“I would say that I am shocked out how Greencore’s spokesperson totally distorted my unions discussions with management, but I am not, as they have a long history of treating their own workers in such an appalling manner.

“That said, if the bosses at Greencore continue to say that they don’t have enough money to top up the pay of their furloughed workers, then they should be forced to prove their companies apparent poverty to their workers.

“What is clear is that by cutting the pay of their furloughed workers, it is Greencore who are forcing their own hard-working staff into poverty. Greencore should immediately open its books to inspection so this multi-million-pound company can prove their poverty to all. Of course they won’t open their finances to democratic scrutiny because as the workers already know the company has plenty to money to pay them properly, they just don’t want to share it.”



Join The Bakers and Allied Food Workers Union online today! http://www.bfawu.org/join BFAWU is a campaigning trade union. Its job is to get the best deal for BFAWU members at work and is committed to building a strong organisation in every BFAWU workplace an so help make every workplace safer. Whoever you are, wherever you work: joining BFAWU is the right decision.

  • Nicolae Macari (BRANCH SECRETARY) – 07532 820151
  • George Atwall (Full Time Officer) – 07739 326009 – george.atwall@bfawu.org
  • Dimitru Manole {ROMANIAN REPRESENTATIVE} – 07816 210730
  • Florentina Pasisnic {ROMANIAN REPRESENTATIVE} – 07459 868508 – florentinapasisnic1970@gmail.com
  • Jit Singh (Full Time Officer) – 07739 326012 – Jit.singh@bfawu.org
  • Lukasz Bemka (Full Time Officer) – 07912 760261 – lukasz.bemka@bfawu.org
  • Adrianna Kara {POLISH REPRESENTATIVE} – 07847 610534 – adrianna.kara3791@gmail.com
  • Lyudmila Malu {RUSSIAN AND LATVIAN REPRESENTATIVE} – 07411 127253

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