THE FIGHT over pay and job cuts at William Cook's steelworks in Sheffield is being stepped up, as it becomes obvious that boss Peter Moore has no intention of negotiating.
Workers from the Heavy Foundry and the IMF Foundry are fighting against 120 a week pay cuts. They voted to escalate their one and two day strikes to all-out action from next Wednesday, 16 May, after again being locked out when they were not on strike. Workers in the Greensand Foundry, which is not affected by the cutbacks, will also announce the outcome of their ballot for action in support of their workmates this week.
The mood was clear at angry mass meetings last Saturday of workers from all three foundries. Workers have not had a pay rise for five years, and have had four contracts in the last two years.
Some 17 workers have now been sacked for refusing to sign the new contracts, and four have been made redundant. But, as one striker said, "we voted to up the strikes to five days a week because we are being locked out anyway. Now we want to go out and win support from other depots."
Last Saturday 100 was collected by strikers at a stall in the town centre. Solidarity is vital.
- PHIL TURNER
- Send messages of support and donations to Eddy Grimes, 116 Richmond Park Crescent, Sheffield S13 8HG.
LECTURERS IN the NATFHE union at Norwich City College took their first day of strike action on Tuesday 1 May. They were striking against restructuring plans which will mean the loss of 50 jobs, cuts in courses, and the creation of low paid teaching posts.
There was a great turn-out on the picket line, with all five entrances to the college covered. Around 170 members, plus students and local trade unionists, were there. This action was followed up on Saturday with a magnificent march through Norwich of 300 people, comprising lecturers, students and trade unionists.
Andy Cairns, joint branch secretary of the NATFHE union, says, "It is looking increasing likely that further days of strike action will be necessary to stop this attack on education." A further day of action is planned for this Friday.
- DAVE MANNINGHAM