Socialist Worker

Solid Wigan Heinz strike rocks bosses - and more action planned

Issue No. 2232

A strike by more than 1,000 workers at Heinz’s factory in Wigan meant that millions of cans of beans and other foods were not produced at the Kitt Green site this week.

Unite union members walked out for 24 hours from 10pm on Wednesday 15 December in their fight for better pay.

Workers voted by 90 percent vote for action, while a 500-strong mass meeting on Saturday 11 December voted unanimously to support the strike.

Powerful picket lines have been in place around the factory’s three entrances.

“There’s been a great response from the workforce to the strike,” Ian Wright, Unite’s deputy convenor at the site, told Socialist Worker from the picket line. “Each shift has taken responsibility for picketing, and the night shift did eight hours from 10pm last night in freezing conditions.

“There’s about 60 on the picket line now, at just after 1pm, and it’s snowing. The strike was totally solid and it’s been a fantastic day.”

Bosses have offered staff a below-inflation of 3.3 percent this year, when shareholders got a dividend of 9 percent. The latest inflation figures show prices rising at 4.7 percent a year.

Another strike will take place for 24 hours from 6am on Tuesday 21 December and other action may be called over Christmas.

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Article information

Thu 16 Dec 2010, 14:26 GMT
Issue No. 2232
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