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Hovis strike action suspended after new pay offer

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Hovis workers were preparing to strike on Friday

Hovis workers were preparing to strike on Friday

Hovis workers were preparing to strike on Friday

Planned strike action by Hovis workers in Belfast has been suspended following a new pay offer from the bread manufacturer.

Picketing at the Hovis site on Apollo Road in Belfast was scheduled to begin at one minute past midnight on Friday.

Just under 90% (88%) of Hovis workers voted for strike action in pursuit of a 5.1% pay claim.

The Unite the Union will now ballot its membership working in Hovis after a "significantly improved" pay offer was tabled.

Sean McKeever, Unite regional officer, said: “Strike action is always a last resort for workers and our union. Unfortunately we were left with no alternative but to proceed with plans for all-out strike action as a result of the total failure of Hovis bosses to take seriously our members' pay expectations.

"The workforce had sought a decent pay uplift but were offered only 3.2% by management despite the negotiations going through mediation at the Labour Relations Agency.

"In light of the significantly improved pay offer made by management today, our team of shop stewards have agreed to suspend the action planned to commence at a minute past midnight on Friday.

"We will now proceed to ballot our members on the offer and are hoping to announce their response and next steps within a week."

German discount retailer Lidl had expressed concern about the bread supply in Northern Ireland as Unite the Union was also separately balloting members at the other main bread manufacturer in the region, Allied Bakeries.

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