HUNDREDS OF workers at a BAE Systems plant, formerly British Aerospace, near Manchester have voted to take strike action over pay. The 620 workers at the Woodford factory in Greater Manchester voted by a huge 93.95 percent for strike action.
They are angry about the firm's miserly 3 percent pay offer. BAE Systems is the world's second biggest defence contractor and the third largest aerospace electronics company. It made a pre-tax profit of £763 million last year-that is 19.6 percent up on its 1998 profits.
BAE Systems is involved in the Eurofighter project, and also builds the Hawk jets which were sold to Indonesia under the rule of General Suharto. The Woodford plant assembles Avro RJ regional jet aircraft, provides engineering support and makes other spare parts.
There are five unions involved in the strike vote-the TGWU, UCATT, GMB, AEEU and MSF. They could call action for the beginning of September if bosses do not make a new offer.
Their vote shows the anger and determination of workers to try to force BAE Systems to pay workers a decent wage.