WORKERS AT the Caterpillar factory in Peterlee, County Durham, staged their third one-day strike on Tuesday. They are fighting a plan by the US multinational to freeze their pay, impose flexible shift patterns and undermine other longstanding agreements.
The 510 shop floor workers make dumper trucks and are members of the Amicus union. They voted for strikes by 95 percent in a ballot. The union has been asking management to go to arbitration over the dispute, but the company has now rejected this.
The best way to ensure the company backs down quickly would be to move towards escalating the action.
We won't roll over
UNOFFICIAL ACTION hit Rolls Royce in Bristol last week as workers tried to stop management transferring work to the East Kilbride factory in Scotland. The workers refused to load and move an engine for over ten days. This strategy was supported in several mass meetings in various sections of the plant.
This was despite some union officials arguing against action, and threats from management. The action was finally repudiated by leaders of Amicus, the union formed by the merger of the AEEU and MSF.
Eventually the workers agreed to let the engine move in exchange for a 'work transfer agreement'.
Marconi's new cuts
MARCONI WORKERS in Liverpool were shocked and angry at management's announcement last week that up to 1,000 face the sack. Marconi is cutting 4,000 jobs worldwide as the telecom and electronics company has plunged into crisis with huge financial losses.
One disgruntled worker at the Merseyside plant told Socialist Worker, 'We've got to fight them. They told us our jobs were safe 18 months ago, and now we get this. 'We stopped redundancies last year and we can do that again.'
Set Satpal free now!
SATPAL RAM will be 36 years old on 25 January. He will also be marking his sixteenth year in prison for a crime he is innocent of.
Satpal, a restaurant worker, defended himself during a racist attack at work. A man later died from his injuries and Satpal was jailed for murder. Satpal has been persecuted by the prison authorities and successive governments for fighting for justice.
But his campaign for justice has won popular support.
Send him a birthday card: Satpal Ram, HMP Blantyre House, Horden, Goudhurst, Kent TN17 2NH. Or send an email: Free Satpal Ram Campaign SatpalRam@satpalram.connectfree.uk.com