AN INDUSTRIAL tribunal found that trade unionists who have been on strike against the William Cooks foundry business for over two years had been 'unfairly dismissed'. The 80 workers, in the GMB and Amicus-AEEU unions, were sacked in 2001 when they were involved in an official strike. Eddie Grimes, Amicus-AEEU member and striker, spoke to Socialist Worker about the result:
'We're happy that we have won. We said we'd done nothing wrong, that everything had been done by the book from day one. There could have been no other outcome. But even though we've got the result we're still nowhere near the end. My ideal thing would be for Cooks to give me my job back and I walk back into the foundry. We set out to get our jobs back on the original terms and conditions. That day's still somewhere in the future. Cooks have 42 days to appeal against the decision. We're going to be back on the picket line as soon as the summer shutdown ends. Without the support of the whole trade union movement this wouldn't have been possible. The ordinary rank and file support was marvellous. We got a lot of support at the beginning because Socialist Worker and the Socialist Alliance put our case out. I'm surprised at some of the anti trade union laws we've still got under a Labour government. We're going to keep fighting.'
Continue to send messages of support and donations to William Cooks strikers, 116 Richmond Park Crescent, Handsworth, Sheffield S13 8HG.
A SERIES of strikes and overtime bans by engineers in Amicus at the Otis lift firm has won an improved offer. Bosses have upped their offer to a 3 percent pay rise, plus 1 percent performance-related pay this year and 2.5 percent with 1 percent performance-related pay next year.