Mass walkout wins
OVER 1,000 workers walked out of GEC Marconi's plant in Wavertree, Liverpool, on Friday of last week after management suspended six workers. The workers taking action were in the MSF union. Members of other unions took leave in support.
The action came after the MSF union called a mass meeting. MSF senior steward Sue Tallon said, "We had to act quickly. There was no time for a ballot. "So we held a mass meeting and our members walked straight off the plant." The workers were angry that a new manager had escorted six workers off the site the previous day for not "fitting in with the Marconi way". The six workers were called in to management, suspended on a week's pay and offered a redundancy settlement.
One worker had his bike brought into the office by management. Another had a chauffeur-driven company car to whisk him off the site. All the dismissed workers were given no opportunity to speak with any of their fellow workers once they had accepted the package.
Management said they had a hit list of a further 20 workers. The manager responsible for the dismissals has been suspended pending a disciplinary hearing. The remaining 20 workers on the company's hit list are to keep their jobs.
- BECCY REESE