Socialist Worker

First ever strike hits Astra Zeneca

Issue No. 2219

Workers at Astra Zeneca in Macclesfield, Cheshire, struck for the first time ever last week to fight attacks on their pensions.

At a time when bosses too often get away with slashing their contributions and scrapping schemes, Astra Zeneca workers are leading the way in the battle for decent pensions.

The GMB union members took part in three two-hour strikes on Tuesday of last week so that workers on each shift could take part in the action.

They plan to walk out again on Wednesday of this week and Wednesday of next week.

Astra Zeneca saw a 12 percent rise in its pre-tax profits for the second quarter of this year to £1.87 billion.

Yet the company wants to close the final salary pension scheme for existing workers. It closed the scheme to new workers in 2000.

Workers voted by around 70 percent for strikes in a ballot.

GMB national officer Allan Black said, “We have got about 500 members in Macclesfield and 120 to 140 were out on the first picket line.”

He added, “We are buoyed up by messages of support from our sister unions across Europe and across the world.”

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Article information

Tue 14 Sep 2010, 17:14 BST
Issue No. 2219
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