Socialist Worker

Strike at Falkland paper bag factory

by Liz Cushnie
Issue No. 2154

Factory workers from Falkland based Smith Anderson Group Ltd, a major UK paper bag manufacturer, took 24 hour strike action from 7am on Wednesday of last week.

The Unite union members were striking against an imposed six month wage freeze.

David, a machine operator, said they were not giving in, were determined to fight back and felt that the company was using the recession as a way to attack the workers’ terms and conditions.

The factory produces 40 million paper bags every week and supplies bags to major pharmacists, coffee shops and fast food chains including McDonalds and Burger King.

It employs over 260 people with half the workforce being women. Striker Julie is from the third generation of her family who has worked at the factory.

Some of the strikers have worked there for more than 30 years.

One angry female picket said that the strike had been brewing as they have endured attacks on their terms and conditions over the last few years but the imposed wage freeze was the last straw.

The workers have suffered attacks on their bonus payments and they now have to work an additional day each week. Workers were set to strike again on Wednesday of this week.

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Article information

Tue 2 Jun 2009, 18:21 BST
Issue No. 2154
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