South East Wales

RF Brookes workers stage Cardiff protest over pay changes

Protest in Cardiff

Workers at food manufacturer RF Brookes have staged a protest in Cardiff.

They are in dispute with 2 Sisters Food Group over proposed changes to pay which comply with the new National Living Wage.

The Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union said workers stood to lose thousands of pounds in shift allowances.

But 2 Sisters Food Group said it was "misleading" to link a new pay deal with the new minimum wage.

The RF Brookes workers, based in Rogerstone, Newport, make ready meals for M&S stores. They held their protest outside the Cardiff store on Saturday.

Gary Johnston, organising regional secretary of the BFAWU, said staff "are not prepared to stand back and see their standard of living being reduced by the greed for profits".

Cardiff Trades Union Council also supported the protest.

"We have found that this is becoming an increasing problem following the introduction of the National Living Wage," said Katrine Williams president of Cardiff Trades Union Council.

"Because successive governments have weakened workers' employment rights employers have been able to mitigate the introduction of the National Living Wage by cutting pay in other areas like shift allowances and unsocial hour payments."

A spokesman for the 2 Sisters Food Group said: "To connect this to the living wage would be totally inaccurate and misleading.

"Negotiations are all part of standard annual talks we have with unions at all our sites over the UK - Rogerstone is no different."

The new packages offered at Rogerstone represented pay increases for the large majority of the 934 colleagues on site, the spokesman added.

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