Some 800 TGWU union members from Manchester airport and their supporters marched through the centre of Manchester last Saturday during a 36-hour strike. This followed a series of lively one-hour stoppages in February. Their managers are demanding that the workers accept new contracts which cut their pay by 40 percent. They will lose their jobs if they do not.
Vinnie Lucas, a TGWU steward, explained that management is offering £5,000 to people who will accept the new contracts: 'They're trying to pay us to take a pay cut.' A delegation from Friction Dynamics in North Wales, who have been on strike for 44 weeks, joined the march.
At the rally there was huge applause for a speaker from the strike committee who said, 'We have to stand up and fight. We refuse to take a pay cut while our fat cat managers get rich. We have to stand together against what's happening.' The national civil airports officer of the TGWU said, 'Manchester airport should hang their heads in shame for treating security staff so poorly.'
Support for the strike is high in Manchester. Letters to local newspaper Manchester Evening News are overwhelmingly in support of the strikers. A series of two-hour stoppages will continue throughout March.