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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 September 2011

Support Wyndeham workers

Nick Chaffey

"I'm earning less now than when I started here 11 years ago!", was the stark reality facing striking printers at Wyndeham Impact (WI), a long established magazine printers in Basingstoke. The dispute began due to the company's failure to restore pay, following an agreed temporary wage cut of 13% for twelve months in 2009. This was reluctantly accepted as part of measures to save jobs. Workers have lost 85 a week under this deal.

WI is a highly profitable company making profits in excess of 850,000 in 2009. Yet the company has not only refused to restore pay but has carried out an aggressive attack on workers, their families and the union. While arguing it has no money, the company has been buying up other firms. Facing a sustained strike over 18 weeks the company has now announced its intention to close with the loss of over 60 jobs.

On the picket line workers have described a malicious campaign of bullying and intimidation by the company. The removal of sick pay has meant workers on occasion going weeks without money. New staff are employed on below trade union rates.

Over Christmas workers were told to work the bank holidays with only four days notice. Those who worked to their contract and took their legitimate holiday were all given final written warnings when they returned to work. Workers are still owed money for this period and are having to go to court to fight for unpaid wages.

Four days before Christmas WI announced compulsory redundancies, yet the workers sacked were replaced by new staff. Previously agreed redundancy terms were torn up by the company.

Workers are now treated to regular 'errors' in their pay and attempts to represent members through the company grievance procedure have been thrown out in sham hearings.

Unite members will be on strike again on 16 September at Grafton Way, West Ham Industrial Estate, Basingstoke RG22 6HY. They are appealing for support.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 14 September 2011:


Socialist Party features

We need a programme of action to fight back!

Austerity policies strangle growth


Socialist Party youth and students

Pampered politicians plan education massacre... STOP THEM!

Low pay and the housing crisis

Youth must join pensions struggle

EMA cuts: doors close on our future

Cuts hit young people hard in Hastings


Stop attacks on pensions

Hands off our pensions!

NHS pensions - Pay more, work longer and get less!


Socialist Party workplace news

Bombardier

Support Wyndeham workers

No to pay cuts in Carmarthenshire

Workplace news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

How can the national rights of Palestinians be achieved?


Socialist Party news and analysis

NSSN calls on TUC to open the floodgates of mass action

Nationalise the banking system!

Childcare costs push parents into hardship

Save our NHS

Fast news


Socialist Party review

Power and terror


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Save Surrey libraries!

Bristol: Labour's short-lived valour

Hundreds march against Dale Farm evictions

May Day protest case goes to Strasbourg


 

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