Workers at the Sunvic plant in Uddingston near Glasgow last week agreed to call off their strike and return to work. The workers were in the 11th week of an all out strike against bosses demanding the right to impose lay-offs.
Strikers had organised a march and rally for last Saturday, which was postponed after the agreement. They believe that bosses were forced into a corner by the publicity that the march would have given the strikers.
Management will now have to negotiate with the workers’ Unite union, which has been formed by the merger of the Amicus and the T&G unions, at the Acas arbitration service before any lay-offs take place.
The decision to end the strike and accept the agreement in principle was unanimously supported by the workers at an emergency meeting on Wednesday of last week.
The 40 mainly women workers returned to work with a show of strength on Monday of this week.
Margaret White, one of the strikers, said, “Management frogmarched us out of the factory when we said we were going on strike. But on Monday we met and marched back in together.”
Workers feared they would have been sacked once the strike reached the end of the 12 week legal protection period. Management has been threatening to close the plant altogether.
Margaret said, “Management didn’t want us back. But if we’re in the factory then we can fight. If they want to close or move the factory they’ll have to move us too or pay redundancy money.”
Workers intend to hold an event in the next two weeks to thank their supporters.
Jimmy Farrelly is the senior regional industrial officer of the T&G Scotland section of Unite. He said, “The outcome is a significant improvement on the company’s original stance.
“This has been an incredibly difficult time for our members, many of who rely on their wages to keep them on the breadline.
“They have gone without pay for ten weeks and shown unbelievable courage, dignity and togetherness. On behalf of the women I would also like to express sincere thanks for the tidal wave of solidarity shown to the women.”