Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1003/27622
From The Socialist newspaper, 11 July 2018
Tyneside shopfitting plant lays off 61 workers
Shopfitters from HMY Radford in Burnopfield on a three-day strike, starting Wednesday 3rd August 2016., photo E Brunskill (Click to enlarge)
Elaine Brunskill, Northern Socialist Party regional secretary
At the start of their day shift at the end of June, management at HMY retail group dropped a bombshell on their workforce when they announced 61 redundancies - all of their production workers.
The company intends to continue trading, but with production from outside Britain.
The company, which manufactures retail furniture, has blamed the redundancies on "difficult market conditions over the last couple of years."
Workers at the plant explained: "Some of the lads have worked here for 30, 40 years." Also, because the factory is located in Burnopfield, Tyneside, which is a semi-rural location, many people from the surrounding area work there.
In some cases two, three or more family members work alongside each other. This is going to have a devastating impact.
For many years workers at the plant have felt that management has made mistakes.
A couple of years ago the workers went on strike (see 'HMY Radford shopfitters strike against penny-pinching company'). It was the first strike action at the factory for 33 years, and was about pay and conditions.
Workers are angry and dismayed at the lack of information coming from the company. There are rumours that production will be closed by the end of August.
There is also anger at the way workers have been treated. In December workers from the plant were laid off. Then when they were reinstated in the new year management had the audacity to ask if they'd had a good Christmas!
Another time the company held a garden party for all the workers. Then immediately afterwards workers were laid off! There was a feeling that the workers who'd been laid off had paid the price for the party.
One of the workers who will be laid off commented: "Currently we all feel that we're waiting in the middle of the road for a bus to come along and hit us."
At this stage the workers feel stunned. Collectively they have given years of service - but for bosses and their rotten capitalist system this counts for nothing.
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In The Socialist 11 July 2018:
What we think
Tories in crisis - Act now to get them out!
600 more retail jobs on the line: workers must not pay for the bosses' high street crunch!
Britain bakes as water pipelines leak
Minister's benefits lie: sack the Tories - and scrap universal credit
Them & Us
Trump and the US
Hit the streets against Trump and capitalism
US: "We've had to build a huge culture of resistance"
NSSN conference 2018: Mood for fighting action and coordination
Big victory for Wigan NHS strike against privatisation
Campaign in full flow to squeeze out every last Yes vote in pay ballot
Hackney traffic wardens strike for better pay and protection at work
Summer of discontent on the cards in Huddersfield bin workers' dispute
Tyneside shopfitting plant lays off 61 workers
Unite conference sees union go in a fighting, socialist direction
Pressure building on councillors to stop fire service cuts
Tram workers strike against 'derisory' pay offer
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Stop the FLA - No to racism
Women's Lives Matter launched in Leeds to fight domestic violence service cuts
Service users and families protest learning disability service cuts
NHS Leeds: Campaigners halt outsourcing... for now
Yes to NHS - No to PFI!
Tories fractured... election possibility... give us the resources!
Issue 1000 drive shows sales potential
The Socialist 11 July 2018 |
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