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North Island bread shortage likely to continue with further strike action possible


Supermarket bread shelves around the North Island are looking far emptier than usual and it's likely to stay that way as more bakery worker strike action looms.

Empty bread shelves at Pak N Save in Hastings. Source: Supplied

Over 100 FIRST Union members at George Weston Foods’ Tip Top bakeries in Auckland went on strike on Sunday and Monday, which union spokeswoman Anna Rosentreter said reduced bread production by 50 per cent for the North Island. 

Though members are now back at work, Ms Rosentreter has told 1 NEWS negotiations with George Weston yesterday didn't go to plan, and more strike action could be on the cards.

She said the union is yet to discuss the next move with members, but based on reactions yesterday they still aren't satisfied. 

"The workers hate to inconvenience New Zealanders but need to send a message to their employer – and they hope they have the support of customers in doing so," she said.

Workers are striking over the company’s ongoing refusal to offer a fair pay rise and a premium on overtime and night work.

"Tip Top bakery workers are sick of making bread rise without a decent pay rise," said Ms Rosentreter.

"George Weston Foods is using their employees’ low pay against them: they know our members have to work 50 or more hours a week to make ends meet."

The union has been in bargaining with the company since July.