BFAWU calls for curb on supermarket power

BFAWU calls for action on supermarkets below cost selling, workplace temperatures, and “bakers asthma” following damning parliamentary report from Labour MP Dave Crausby

Addressing union delegates in Bridlington today, the Bolton North MP delivered the annual report of the BFAWU parliamentary group which acts for the union’s interests in parliament.

The union wants to see action on curbing the power of supermarkets by government introducing a regulatory framework that is designed to prevent below cost selling and the excessive power of large retailers over bakeries.

The recent horsemeat scandal in processed meat products has raised particular concerns about downward pressures on costs, exerted by supermarkets over their suppliers and the possible implications for the food manufacturing sector.

Large supermarkets are able by economies of scale to sell bread at a low price which smaller retailers are unable to match.

BFAWU Parliamentary Group will be submitting evidence to the Adjudicator which was recommended by the Competition Commission and brought into being by the government this year.

Other key campaigns such as the “Cool it" campaign to get a maximum workplace temperature of 30 degrees and 27 degrees if you do strenuous work passed into law which would have a big impact on BFAWU members.

Speaking to delegates today, Mr Crausby said he believed the issue should be a “manifesto commitment” for the Labour Party going into the next general election in 2015.

And he pointed out that current working conditions for many baking and food workers meant they were 80 times more likely to develop “bakers asthma.” or occupational asthma as it sometimes known.

Mr Crausby said: “The Labour Party is
our party. We own it, we created it but there are people in the Labour Party
who would like to see back of trades unions.”

"However I believe we need more working class people becoming MP's."

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Notes to editors:

·         The BFAWU represents over 20,000 workers in food, baking and allied services industries across the UK and Northern Ireland.

·         It is an affiliate to the UK Labour Party. 

The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers' Union (BFAWU) is a trade union of workers in the food industry. It was founded in 1847, in Manchester, by a group of Journeymen Bakers.

The next year, the organisation began to operate on a national level, and became the Amalgamated Union of Operative Bakers. In 1861 it played a key role in campaigning to secure the Bakehouse Regulations Act, which was eventually passed in 1863.

In 1964, the union was renamed the Bakers' Union, which then evolved to the Bakers, Food, and Allied Workers' Union.