Samworth Brothers in NLW row

Ginsters’ manufacturer Samworth Brothers remains embroiled in controversy surrounding alleged cuts to pay and conditions, which have been made in a bid to offset the impact of the National Living Wage (NLW).

Channel 4 News claimed it had seen company documents confirming the cuts. Samworth has previously denied claims made by the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) that it planned to make the cuts in order to lessen the impact of the NLW, which came into effect on 1 April.

However, Channel 4 News claimed it had seen documents confirming that Samworth Brothers had written to staff at its Bradgate Bakery in Leicester, detailing a series of changes to working conditions and pay.

These allegedly included cuts to bonuses - among them overtime and bank holiday pay. The number of work breaks would also be reduced, and the business planned to cut Sunday overtime rates from £13.78 an hour to £13.10 an hour from this June, according to the report. Further cuts in the rate were also planned, with £11.79 scheduled for 2017 and £10.62 for 2018.

One break a day

One unnamed worker told the programme: “Yes, our money has gone up, but they have taken our overtime down, and they are going to cut our breaks to one break a day.”

A Samworth Brothers spokeswoman said: “Eighty-five per cent of our staff will see their overall pay rise as a result of the changes so, unsurprisingly, there has been a positive response from the majority of our staff.”

In March, Keith Vaz MP met with Alex Knight, chief executive of Samworth Brothers, to discuss “grave concerns” about the food manufacturer’s wage proposals.

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