Dynamex Friction Dynamics
Dynamex are all out
SOME 108 TGWU union members are on all-out strike in north west Wales. Workers at the Dynamex Friction Dynamics (formerly Ferodo) plant began the official strike on 30 April after a ballot over the effective derecognition of their union.
Workers at the plant in Caernarfon, Gwynedd, have not had a pay rise for five years. Their holiday entitlement has been changed without consultation, and when workers reach production targets they are not paid the promised bonus-they are simply given increased targets.
The dispute has already been the subject of a half-hour documentary on S4C, the Welsh language television channel. Factory boss Craig Smith is from the US, where he has faced court action over 3,300 asbestos-related cases resulting in outstanding claims worth $300 billion. When he bought the ex-Ferodo plant a few years ago, Smith got 1.4 million of public money from the Welsh Development Agency.
He used that money to bring over obsolete equipment which the workers say has never been used. This dispute is very important for north west Wales, where low wages are rife.
There is solid local support for the strike. Just about every car passing the picket line toots its horn in support. Gerald Parry from the strike committee says, "The boss has threatened to sack us and has been having some success hiring casual labour. But he must be worried because he's told us to take this week as holiday.
"We need to win this dispute, and call on all members of the TGWU and the local community to support us in any way they can."
- Messages of support and donations: c/o Tom Jones, TGWU Offices, Segontium Terrace, Caernarfon, Gwynedd.