Allied Bakeries strike ends after 'improved pay offer'

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Allied Bakeries workers on a picket line.Image source, Pacemaker
Image caption,
Workers had picketed outside Allied Bakeries in Belfast over a pay dispute.

Industrial action at Allied Bakeries has ended after workers said the company increased its pay offer.

About 250 workers had gone on strike on Sunday, following the collapse of talks between the firm and trade unions on Friday.

Unite union said workers had "voted overwhelmingly with a 90 percent majority" to accept the new pay offer.

Allied Bakeries is best known in Northern Ireland for brands such as Kingsmill and Sunblest.

"This provides an above-inflation pay increase and will mean that instead of real terms incomes falling as would have been the case with offers only days ago, these workers will now enjoy a real-terms pay increase," said Unite regional coordinating officer Susan Fitzgerald.

Image source, Pacemaker
Image caption,
Talks between Allied Bakeries and the trade union, Unite, broke down on Friday

"This is the second recent win for our members in Northern Ireland bakeries - both of which came on the back of strong votes for industrial action after below-inflation pay increases were rejected by workers."

Staff had picketed outside the Castlereagh Road site on Sunday, causing disruption for delivery vehicles.

Allied Bakeries is owned by Associated British Foods - an international company which owns a range of brands across different sectors, including Primark, and posted pre-tax profits of about £1.4bn last year.

But according to its latest accounts, Allied Bakeries was operating at a loss, which had been reduced because of cost-cutting measures.

The accounts also indicated lower reported sales.

In a statement on Wednesday, Allied Bakeries said: "We can confirm that we have reached an agreement with union officials over pay at our Belfast bakery and are pleased that this offer has now received the full support of our employees and their representatives."