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Tip Top workers’ victory brings bread shortage to an end

FIRST Union members at George Weston Foods Ltd in South Auckland, who produce Tip Tip branded bread products, have reached a deal with the company after emergency negotiations that will end industrial action and bring a national bread shortage to an end, FIRST Union said today.

Anita Rosentreter, FIRST Union lead advocate, said members voted in favour of the company’s offer yesterday and strike action would now cease:

"FIRST Union members at George Weston Foods who work overtime will earn significantly more than before (up to $160 more a week for some), with overtime rates kicking in after ratification," said Ms Rosentreter.

"Many of the members work upwards of 50-55 hours per week, and formerly this was paid at ordinary rates. They will now receive a well-deserved premium on these hours to compensate for their weekly sacrifices of personal time."

"The deal includes increases to hourly rates - up to 4.1% - with the majority of members now being paid a living wage or above, and workers will receive full back-pay from September 1st 2019."

"I’m so proud of our members - they knew they were worth more than they were being paid, they stood together and made their voices heard, and after industrial action, the company has finally listened to their argument and agreed to settle on terms that are fair to the workers."

"The deal comes just in time for Christmas, and the pay increases and back-pay will mean bakers can enjoy the holiday season with the knowledge that they will be putting more than just bread on their tables."

"Workers wanted me to express that they are so grateful for all the public support they've received over the last few weeks despite the shortage of bread - it shows that a mild inconvenience for shoppers doesn’t outweigh their sense of fairness and justice."

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