Socialist Worker

Heinz workers reject new pay deal and strike again

by Matthew Cookson
Issue No. 2234

More than 1,000 workers at Heinz’s Wigan factory this week rejected an improved pay offer and struck for their fourth 24-hour period.

Around 50 Heinz workers and others showing solidarity, including students from Manchester university, joined the picket line on Tuesday morning this week.

The Unite union members voted by over 65 percent to turn down a 3.5 percent pay rise for this year and 3.4 percent next year with strings.

Yet the RPI measure of inflation is currently running at 4.7 percent—and Heinz’s fatcat shareholders are grabbing big dividends.

“We’ve got fantastic support for this strike from the workforce and other people,” Ian Wright, the Unite deputy convenor at the plant, told Socialist Worker.

“It’s at the same level as the other three strikes we’ve had.

“It’s great to see the students here. A lot of people throughout the country would like to be doing what we’re doing.”

The company had increased its offer after three powerful strikes over the Christmas holidays.

“We will not have a cap placed on us when we don’t know what RPI will be at next year,” said Ian.

Further talks were set to take place between the union and management on Wednesday of this week.

But if the union does not receive a better offer a further 24-hour strike is set to take place from 7.50am on Wednesday of next week.

The Right to Work campaign has produced a collection sheet for the workers, which Ian described as “fantastic”.

Every worker and student should back this vital fight.

It shows that trade unionists can fight against the bosses’ attempts to lower our living standards in order to boost their profits.

Email messages of support to Download the Heinz collection sheet from

If you enjoy Socialist Worker, please consider giving to our annual appeal to make sure we can maintain and develop our online and print versions of Socialist Worker. Go here for details and to donate.

Article information

Tue 11 Jan 2011, 18:33 GMT
Issue No. 2234
Share this article


Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.