AROUND 3,500 workers at the massive Ryton Peugeot plant in Coventry were set to walk out for 24 hours this week. The shift systems mean the plant could be closed from Friday 7 March to Monday 10 March.
The workers are fighting for a decent pay rise. They rejected an offer from Peugeot managers which was tied to increases in pension contributions. The Peugeot managers also wanted to axe shopfloor workers' profit-related bonus, worth over £600 this year.
The first in the series of planned 24-hour strikes saw the plant completely closed on Thursday 13 February.
Bosses aren't co-operating
FUNERAL WORKERS across the country are demanding a minimum annual wage of £15,000. The 2,600 workers are employed by the Co-op. The GMB, Usdaw and TGWU unions represent them.
The unions launched a claim for a 25 percent pay rise for funeral workers. Such a rise would put them on £15,183 a year for a 39-hour week. The unions have launched a series of meetings with the Co-op funeral company managers. A further meeting will take place on 3 April.
Phil Davies, national secretary for the GMB, said, 'Our members in funeral services are charged with cleaning up after horrific accidents. 'A salary of £15,000 is reasonable and fair.' The Co-op funeral service made over £27 million profit over the last two years.
An outcry in the valleys
OPPOSITION IS growing to the building of a new power plant in Onllwyn, near Neath in South Wales. Communities in the Neath, Swansea and Dulais valleys are organising to fight the proposed giant power plant which, if granted planning permission, will burn a mixture of waste oil and coal called petcoke.
Residents are deeply concerned that the plant will be a major cause of environmental degradation and pollution. The anti-pollution protesters have until the end of March to build a campaign that will stop the planning bid dead in its tracks. They are already going all out to leaflet, petition and protest against the project.
The Neath branch of the Welsh Socialist Alliance (WSA) is backing the fightback and urging a vigorous and determined grassroots campaign.
This murder is still legal
THE HAZARDS Campaign, the Hazards magazine and the Centre for Corporate Accountability are calling on people to send a special e-mail postcard to Tony Blair. This asks him why the government has not introduced legislation creating the new offence of corporate killing.
The government promised to reform the law five years ago. Since then over 2,000 people have been killed in work-related incidents or disasters. A website has been set up that will allow you to send postcards to the prime minister (and your local MP) at www.hazards.org/postcard