TYNESIDE shipyard workers won a swift victory by walking out over safety last week. The walkout began when two workers at the Cammell Laird yard in Hebburn on the south bank of the Tyne complained over procedures for dealing with asbestos. They were working on a giant refitting of the Edinburgh Castle cruise line, a job which has seen the yard's workforce swell to its biggest number for 18 years.
A mass meeting on Thursday of last week backed the two men's complaints and rejected management claims that they were 'making a fuss'. Hundreds of workers then walked out. When the night shift turned up later they too joined the strike. In all, over 1,000 workers were out, and management were soon backpedalling. They quickly agreed to demands for better facilities over dealing with asbestos, and workers returned to work on Friday with a victory under their belts.
OVER 2,000 workers at Belfast's Harland and Wolff shipyard walked out for 90 minutes on Tuesday to protest at threats to jobs.