Some 400 workers at Sogefi Filtration downed tools and staged a 24-hour walkout on Wednesday of last week over attacks on terms and conditions.
The plant produces filters for the car industry at its Llantrisant plant in Rhonda, South Wales. The workers are set to strike again on Monday of next week.
Workers say the dispute was sparked by cuts in holiday allowance and pay – the latest in a series of moves by management to undermine workers’ conditions.
The plant’s canteen has been shut down, forcing workers to go off site to get food. There was also a change in shift patterns with no consultation or notice.
Wayne Llewellyn is convenor for the Unite union at the plant. “The workers feel totally let down by management,” he told Socialist Worker. “Everyone walked out together and everyone is sticking together.”
Diane Davis has worked at the Sogefi plant for the past 15 years. “The atmosphere has been very low,” she told Socialist Worker. “Changing our contracts and holiday pay had made people feel like that.
“But now that we’re fighting back the mood has changed. I’ve never seen people so determined in all my time here.
“Nobody can afford to strike. But what else can we do? We won’t sit around and take this. We can’t go on like this.”
Manufacturing in South Wales has been decimated by the recession. Thousands of jobs have been lost in the area and many more are threatened.
The fact that the Sogefi workers are standing up for themselves shows that ordinary people can fight back against the bosses when they’re under attack.