Recipe for a confrontation
By Phil Turner
WORKERS AT a Sheffield factory are gearing up for a major battle over pay and job cuts. Action by 60 workers in the AEEU union at castings firm William Cook's, who held their second one-day strike last Thursday, could now spread to other sections. The workers in the Heavy Foundry were locked out by bosses as they returned to work because they refused to sign a loyalty pledge to work normally.
Workers in another department, the IMF Foundry, were expected to announce the result of their ballot this Friday, and a joint one-day strike is planned for the next week. Workers in another foundry, not facing cuts, have already voted to ballot for industrial action in support of the other two, and have agreed not to cover their work.
The first redundancies under the firm's cutbacks took place last Friday when ten workers were made redundant. The firm is still threatening to sack workers if they refuse to sign new contracts.
But the mood of resistance was summed up by one picket last week: "We have nothing to lose. We had pay cuts last year and now we face more. We can't keep taking pay cuts. We have got to draw the line somewhere."