'Cut our hours not our jobs'
WORKERS AT Philips Lighting in Hamilton, near Glasgow, struck for shorter hours on the same day the company announced 7,000 job losses worldwide. Almost 400 workers in the AEEU union joined the action on Wednesday of last week to reduce the working week from 39 hours to 37.5 hours.
That demand is a workers' alternative to job losses. There is already an overtime ban in place at the plant. The Philips workers are now planning two more one-day strikes in the coming weeks. Workers rejected an offer from management, recommended by the union, to cut hours gradually.
AEEU official Bernie Hamilton told journalists, "We've been complaining since 1986 when other factories won a shorter working week. "It has been put aside so many times that staff now feel they have been backed into a corner."