Socialist Worker

Solidarity at Sunvic takes bosses aback

by Alan Thomson
Issue No. 2052

Striking Sunvic workers are gaining support from trade unionists across the country (Pic: Duncan Brown)

Striking Sunvic workers are gaining support from trade unionists across the country (Pic: Duncan Brown)

Over 40 workers at the Sunvic Controls factory in Uddingston, near Glasgow, are in the ninth week of an all-out strike.

The strikers are standing up against management plans to reduce their terms and conditions. “The bosses thought we’d crumble in two weeks,” said Margaret Murray, one of the strikers. “But we’ve stayed united and they’ve been taken aback by that.”

The striking workers, who are mostly women, are members of Unite, the new union formed by the merger of the T&G and Amicus unions.

Strikers have been visiting local workplaces to win support for the dispute and have been warmly received by groups of workers and unions across Scotland.

Strikers visited Cumbernauld tax office last week. The T&G Glasgow Housing Association branch has donated £500 to their strike fund and the Fire Brigades Union made a donation of £648.

The strikers are picketing the factory from Monday to Friday each week and encourage supporters and delegations to visit them. They say that they have been inundated with solidarity messages.

They also plan a march and rally on Saturday 2 June starting at 12 noon from the Sunvic plant in Bellshill Road. This follows a similar very successful event two weeks ago, where strikers were joined by representatives of the Scottish TUC, T&G Scotland, local supporters and trade union delegations.

The Unite union is encouraging union branches from across the country to send delegations to the next march.

Scottish TUC general secretary Graham Smith will speak at the rally. Activists in the Amicus branch of Unite in Edinburgh are already making plans to attend, and delegations are expected from each FBU region.

Sunvic bosses still refuse to negotiate with the union over the disputed changes to contracts.

Last week they cynically applied for planning permission to change the use of the site from industrial to residential.

Sunvic workers now fear that there are plans for closing the plant and that they will have to defend their jobs, not just conditions of employment.

The strikers are determined to win the dispute. They recently formed a committee to help plan and coordinate their actions.

With solidarity from other unions they can win. Now they need the whole trade union movement to throw its weight behind the strike.

Send donations and messages of support to Sunvic Controls, Joint Shop Stewards Committee, c/o Margaret Paterson, 51 Emily Drive, Motherwell, ML1 2SH or Requests for speakers for workplaces should be sent to the same addresses.

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Tue 22 May 2007, 18:46 BST
Issue No. 2052
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