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28 May 2009
Rob Williams overwhelmingly backed by Linamar workers
Lobby of Unite London headquarters over the sacking of Rob Williams, Linamar convenor, photo Alison Hill
Linamar workers in Swansea have voted for an all out strike in support of their sacked convenor Rob Williams.
The yes vote was 139 and the no vote was 19, with a turn out of 88%.
This is a marvellous vote in the teeth of mass intimidation by the Linamar management, who have threatened the workers with the sack if they took strike action to get Rob, who is a member of the Socialist Party in Wales, his job back.
The Linamar workers are clearly saying that they will decide who they want as their convenor and not management.
The vote, by secret ballot under the onerous anti-union laws, was taken in the face of an unprecedented recession in the car industry. The successful strike ballot is a real indication that the workers know what is at stake. It is not just Rob Williams' job but their very future. The question is - Will they be able to have proper trade union representation, or will they be forced to work under the dictates of the bosses, with no rights to speak of?
The shop stewards committee is meeting tonight to decide the next step. They will have to give the bosses a formal seven days notice of strike action and it looks like the workers are saying that they are prepared to come out on indefinite strike to get Rob Williams back in the factory as their elected convenor and shop steward.
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