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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 November 2006

JJB Sports on strike

NEARLY 300 GMB members employed by JJB Sports at their warehouse in Wigan are currently taking strike action. The warehouse supplies all 430 JJB Sports shops in the UK. The workers are fighting for a better basic rate of pay and a bonus system.

Hugh Caffrey

Already this is shaping up to be a hard-fought dispute. Currently most workers are on the minimum wage and either have no access to the bonus scheme or their targets are set so high that the scheme yields no money.

Main shareholder Dave Whelan, of Wigan Athletic fame, scuppered the pay agreement negotiated between the union and management, denouncing workers as "communists" and living in "cuckoo land". Certainly workers taking home less than 200 a week live in a different world to the likes of Whelan, who's "worth" 200 million.

The workers will be on strike again on 15 and 16 November and there is a work-to-rule and an overtime ban. GMB and 'No Sweat' activists picketed JJB Sports shops across the country and protested at the Wigan home game on 11 November.

Bosses are clearly determined to break the strike. They are using employment agencies to supply scab labour, openly breaking the law. On the 200-strong picket line on 9 November, an abusive HGV driver was too busy shouting at the pickets to look where he was driving and nearly ran over three union officials.

Socialist Party members will be helping to organise more pickets and protests in the region.

  • Please send messages of support and donations (made payable to "GMB") to Graham Wells, branch secretary, 80 St Georges Rd., Bolton, BL1 2DD. Graham can also be contacted on 01204 523 011 or Stretford@gmbunion.co.uk
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    Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

    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 16 November 2006:

    Millions reject war and occupation

    Iraq, corruption and wealth gap send Republicans into a tail-spin

    Palestine: "No excuse can justify this atrocity"


    Socialist Party NHS campaign

    Join the fightback - save the NHS

    Save mental health services

    Don't 'unfetter' drug giants


    What we think

    Courts cannot fight far right


    Special feature

    Is capitalism killing football?


    Socialist Party news and analysis

    Fraud hits poor at Christmas


    Socialist Students

    Fight for free education!

    Fighting start for the Campaign to Defeat Fees


    Socialist Party workplace news

    Respect Organising Fighting Unions Conference

    Visteon workers:: Vote 'no' to concessions

    JJB Sports on strike

    No fun at Game!


     

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