Enforcement of a one-week strike by bread bakers in Edo State degenerated into chaos on Thursday at Abudu, administrative headquarters of Orhionmwon local government area, as some youths resisted the strike enforcers from stopping a bread seller who came in from neighbouring Delta state.
The Daily Vendor Newspaper gathered that the enforcers who are members of Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria had earlier on Wednesday came in contact with bread sellers at Abudu, and chased them for apparent violation of the strike order.
The development however did not go down well with some bread consumers who insisted bakers should be allowed to come in from anywhere to sell bread since the bakeries in their area have been shut down owing to the strike.
As a result they protected the seller who came in with a van loaded with bread to distribute at the area where bakers observing the one-week strike have resolved to stick to a new price regime.
The youths chased away some enforcers on motorcycle who tried to confront the Agbor bread seller while he distributes to mostly table sellers. The youths later formed a convoy of motorbikes to escort the van out of the area.
A representative of masters bakers in the local government, Ayemere Charles blamed “top members” of the association for the chaos, adding that they have reached out to the youths to explain reasons behind the decision to increase the price of bread.
“I was with them (youths) this morning; and they now understand that it’s a union issue, but they complained of hunger, that the starvation of bread was too much.
“Top members are the major cause of the crisis because if they’ve complied to the strike action it wouldn’t have got to this stage. The union do deal on individual but on general decision and welfare of all member. Whether you own a mega bakery, average bakery, smaller bakery; you are doing one bag or thirty bags in a day it doesn’t really matter as long as you are producing bread, and it’s the responsibility of the union to take every member along”, Ayemere told our correspondent in a chat on Friday
According to a statement by the association, the strike was due to increment in the price of baking materials, hence members agreed to shut down production since 23rd October.
It added, upon expiration of the One-week strike on Friday 29th October 2021, the price of bread will increase to meet current market realities of price of flours and sugar which are essentials in bread production.
“Due to the continuous massive increment in the price of baking materials and other things like diesel, gas, firewood etc.
“We have resolved that for us to keep producing wholesome bread that is up to NAFDAC standard there must be upward review of prices”, excerpt of the statement read.