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BFAWU Conference 2022 Union agrees to ‘name and shame’ bosses who put ‘profits before health’ during pandemic

FOOD workers slammed bosses who are “putting profits before health” today, accusing them of failing to protect their employees from Covid-19.

A motion calling on the bakers’ union to “name and shame” firms which neglect their statutory duties towards health and safety was unanimously passed by BFAWU delegates on the second day of the union’s annual conference.

Addressing members at Yarnfield Park near Stone, Staffordshire, delegate Dougie Johnston said: “One of the reasons we exist is to protect workers’ lives, to see a better working environment for everyone.

“If it was up to our bosses, we’d still have children marching down coalmines and shimmying up chimneys, because they don’t give a damn about our safety.

“While you were keeping people fed during the pandemic, they were counting their coins, not bothering about your safety.

“Let’s make sure these employers don’t put your lives at risk.”

The union’s successful campaign to have “bakers’ lung” classified as an industrial injury is an example of how members can make a difference, he said.

The serious respiratory disorder, otherwise known as occupational asthma, develops if workers are exposed to airborne flour, dust or other substances over a long period of time and can cause coughing, shortness of breath and chest tightness.

Backing the motion, national president Ian Hodson said: “The work you did during the pandemic was amazing — you saved people’s lives.

“You can see the difference in lives lost in non-organised workplaces compared to ones which are organised by trade unions that have health and safety committees.

“If people feel that they are unsafe in the workplace due to an outbreak of coronavirus, then they have the right to remove themselves.

“And if our members decide to take that action, this union will support them.”


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