ONE HUNDRED workers at Jeavons Engineering in Tipton in the West Midlands struck for 24 hours last week. The strike was officially called by the TGWU union, but some non-union members joined the action. The dispute is over an incentive scheme which means some workers could lose up to 50 a week. TGWU members agreed to the scheme, which also meant a 3 percent pay increase. But workers are losing money because the targets set are impossible to meet. Strikers have also voted to impose a work to rule and overtime ban. If management don't back down the strikers are prepared to call another 24-hour stoppage.
- PAUL BOLTON
PICKETS WERE out at two Sheffield factories last week. Around 60 workers in the AEEU union at William Cook's heavy foundry plant held the first of a rolling programme of strikes. They are fighting plans which will lead to 50 percent job cuts and cuts in pay of up to 120 a week.
About 25 workers at spring makers Turton Tonks also staged their first one-day strike against plans to scrap a bonus scheme costing them 80 a week. At Cook's a 100 percent vote in a ballot for industrial action, including strikes, was reflected on the picket lines. "The feeling is one of dissent-that we've had enough of the company crying wolf over profits," said one picket.
Workers in another department affected-the aptly named IMF foundry-are also being balloted. The site employs a total of 300 workers. But the heavy foundry workers, who have already been involved in a work to rule and overtime ban, face the threat of the sack next week if they refuse to sign new contracts. Strikes were planned for Thursday.
Meanwhile at Turton Tonks strikers angrily rejected company claims that it was losing money. Workers, who have not had a pay rise for five years, are on 6.32 an hour. Scrapping the bonus scheme would cut 74 a week on average from pay packets.
WORKERS AT the Fiat New Holland tractor plants in Basildon and Thurrock in Essex struck last week over pay