Some 120 mostly Asian women workers mounted a mass picket this morning at the Chemilines pharmaceuticals factory in north west London on the first of three strike days over pay.
The workers – who are demanding a decent pay rise and the reinstatement of 25 colleagues who have been laid off – turned back several delivery vans including the Royal Mail. There was a constant stream of car horns from people driving past the site.
The mood was lively and militant, with workers chanting, 'Chemilines are greedy! Management are greedy!' The strength of the strike clearly rattled the managers, who called the police to the picket line.
There was anger at the fact that managers tried to bring in temporary workers on the strike day. 'They had people laid off because they said there wasn't enough work – but now they bring in temps,' said one striker.
GMB union rep Hiten Vaidya told Socialist Worker that he was very pleased at the solidarity shown by drivers who refused to cross the picket line. 'As workers they are standing shoulder to shoulder with Chemilines workers,' he said.
There will be another day of strike action on Monday of next week, 22 December, and a third on Wednesday 7 January. Picket lines start at 8am outside the Chemilines plant on Alperton Road, Wembley, Middlesex HA0 1DX.