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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 September 2012
Workers' unity against brutal bosses
Mick Whale, Secretary Hull NUT
Striking workers at the Cranswick Foods meat processing factory at Preston near Hull have won a temporary reprieve from brutal new working conditions.
Cranswick management want to speed up the track to further exploit the workforce.
A Cranswick worker explained: "At the moment, two of us working together are expected to process 500 carcasses an hour. Management want to have us working alone and have each one of us processing 350 carcasses an hour.
This is nearly a 50% increase in what we are expected to produce for no extra pay. In fact we haven't had a pay increase for ten years."
Management have not had to deal with a union and a strike before and they have clearly been shaken by the solidity of the strike and the determination of the strikers organised by the GMB.
The management have agreed to go back round the negotiating table and not implement the speed-ups for a month while negotiations continue. This is a reprieve rather than a victory but the strength of the union action has forced management back.
A particularly inspiring feature of the strike has been the unity of the overwhelming majority of the workforce who are Polish with the English workers.
This shows again that the labour movement and working class action can bring about unity.
The language difficulties have been at least partially overcome through the GMB producing leaflets in Polish.
As one English worker joked: "I can't understand a word they are saying but we all understand the words 'strike' and 'picket line'"
As the picket line broke up many of the Polish workers were chanting "GMB, GMB".
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In The Socialist 12 September 2012:
Fight against austerity
Build a 24-hour general strike
TUC passes general strike motion
NSSN lobby demands a 24-hour general strike
Teachers must unite against Tories
Socialist Party news and analysis
Nationalise the banks
Con-Dem housing measures - in 'the thick of it'?
After the Paralympics... Stop the Con-Dems' assault on disabled
Cable attacks health and safety
'Red tape' bonfire puts workers at more risk
More bad news from media mogul Murdoch
International socialist news and analysis
Quebec Solidaire's electoral gains show potential for left
Honduras: Privatised cities in the global economy
Socialist Party feature: TUSC
We need a political voice to fight austerity
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist students: Fighting for education
Bristol YFJ: "We're not lazy - we're fighting back"
Global youth unemployment rises
Youth Fight for Jobs in action! Coming events
Socialist Party workplace news
Workers' unity against brutal bosses at Cranswick Foods
East Coast train cleaners on strike
RMT assistant secretary arrested on picket line
Fighting NHS cuts
NHS under attack - Stop the closures, stop the cuts
Bromsgrove meeting opposes A&E closure
Demo against heart unit closure in Leicester
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Sheffield Socialist Party pickets strike-breaking facility
Brent Labour: Making families homeless
Young tenants to lobby Leeds council over housing crisis
Reviews and comments
The Reunion rewrites history: the Poll Tax
The shame of sexism in sport
How we stopped the racist EDL
The Socialist 12 September 2012 |
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