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Basingstoke


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From: The Socialist issue 685, 14 September 2011: Hands off our pensions!

Search site for keywords: Basingstoke - Pay - Jobs - Unite - Strike

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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