BFAWU: The question is can you afford not to be in a Union

Workers in the UK are having their rights cynically and maliciously stolen from them by a vindictive and cruel government; but there’s an incredible number of people who don't realise what the coalition’s changes to employment law mean to them.

Part of the changes include what's called the ‘protected conversation’. Basically, this means that your boss can call you into the office, verbally abuse you and offer you a sum of money to leave the company. The main problem with that is that you won’t be able to refer to that conversation at any unfair dismissal hearing. If that wasn’t bad enough, should you want to take your employer to an employment tribunal, it will now cost you £1200 for each reason up to a current maximum £8,600, For example; if you were dismissed due to disability and sacked unfairly, it would cost a whopping £2400, so unless you have the money readily available or are in a union, there’s virtually no way you’ll be able to seek redress.

Even something as simple as getting your boss to pay your wages could end up costing you £390 without any guarantee of getting the £390 back!

However, BFAWU members are safe in the knowledge that in cases like this, they will be able to get justice without having to worry how to find the funds themselves as the union will ensure finance is not a barrier to getting justice through its legal support scheme.

The food industry is under constant attack from supermarkets trying to get cheaper products to boost their profits. Unfortunately, the knock-on effect of this is that employers are trying to pass the cost on to their workers by cutting their terms and conditions. So far, in most cases the BFAWU has been able to protect its members and resist many of the horrors that non-unionised workforces have had to endure.

Unfortunately, it’s a sad fact of life that unless if you have Trade Union representation, you will find you have little chance of resisting these attacks on your terms and conditions, as company bosses will use every trick in the book to exploit their workers and in most cases, they’ll be backed to the hilt and cheered on by David Cameron’s anti-worker Government. This year, our union will be highlighting the impact of government policies on ordinary people. We will be exposing the seemingly relentless race to the bottom at working people’s expense and the cost on society in general.

As part of our union’s approach, we have created a short animation promoting our union and why being part of an organised group of workers is vital to both yourselves and your families.

Ian Hodson
National President
Bakers’, Food & Allied Workers Union
Stanborough House
Great North Rd.
Welwyn Garden City
Twitter: @ianbfawu