Hovis pickets stay strong

Submitted by AWL on 18 September, 2013 - 1:30

Police have attempted to break up picket lines at the Hovis factory in Wigan where workers are striking against the use of zero-hour contracts.

Three people were arrested in the early hours of 16 September, and one activist was thrown into the road on her back as police used force to clear a blockade of the road leading in the factory.

According to the Union News website, “two people were arrested on suspicion of obstructing the highway while a third was arrested for a public order offence. One of the three is a local Unite organiser.”

The police called the early-morning picket “quite a sizeable demonstration”, numbering almost 100 people. A Facebook video shows the picket obstructing a goods lorry so that it took 40 minutes to travel just 500 metres, under police escort.

The continuing strike was bolstered by a demonstration in Wigan on Saturday 14 September.

The strike’s first demand (that Premier Foods, which owns the factory, stop using zero-hours contracts directly) has already been met, but workers are fighting on to win their second demand — an end to agency labour in the factory.

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