Steelmaker Corus announced plans to cut another 2,000 jobs last week – most of them in Britain.
Ironically the announcement came as the unions representing Corus workers – Community, Unite and the GMB – were balloting some of their members over accepting a pay cut to “save” jobs.
“Management have taken their gloves off now – and the fight is on,” Martin Copson, a Unite rep at Corus in Scunthorpe, told Socialist Worker.
“In the past the unions would negotiate pay cuts to save jobs. But this announcement has moved the goalposts completely – it shows that this won’t work.
“The union needs to build a national campaign against the cuts. We need to mobilise support and fight for every job.”
So far the unions have failed to lead a fight for jobs in the manufacturing sector. But this doesn’t mean that there isn’t anger on the ground, or that workers aren’t prepared to fight.
“Even after management did a big presentation about why people should vote to accept a pay cut there were still around 60 percent against it,” said Martin. “If we don’t fight now then this could be the end of the steel industry.
“The victory at Lindsey shows that militant trade unionism works. After years of job losses we now have something to point to and say this is how we can win.”