Stop 'Maxwell' pension threat
BOSSES OF the Ford motor company refused to alter their pay offer to white collar staff at negotiations with trade unions on Monday of this week. Trade union reps were to meet on Thursday to decide whether to name a day for strike action. The white collar staff, who include payroll workers and research and design engineers, are members of the TGWU and MSF unions.
They are not happy with Ford's offer on pay and hours, and have voted 63 percent for strike action. The company is refusing to cut the working week for salaried staff, even though it has done so for hourly paid workers. But the big issue is pensions. Ford bosses want to merge the white collar workers' pension fund, which has a big surplus, with the manual workers' fund.
"Feelings are strong," said one worker at Ford's huge research and design centre in Dunton, Essex, last week. "This smacks of a Max well to us. People feel betrayed. We're worried that if the pension funds merge there will be less money for us when we're old." "There is no information at all from management," says another. "We just know they want to tamper with our pension money. I voted to strike and I definitely feel strongly enough to do it." The MSF also organises the foremen at Ford, but they have voted to accept the offer and won't be part of any strike action.$ Dagenham
WORKERS AT Ford's giant Dagenham plant in Essex were disgusted last week by reports that the future of the plant was in question. "I woke up to the radio saying there was going to be a big announcement about Dagenham's future and it was just rubbish. The press got the wrong end of the stick completely." Another worker said, "That is typical Ford. They will use these threats to terrorise us here, to get us to agree to things. It's a ploy to frighten us, but we've heard it all before."
- FOUR WORKERS in the Paint, Trim and Assembly plant at Dagenham have won their fight over the timing of their tea breaks.
Management wanted to impose new, worse breaks on workers in a small area of the plant. But the workers refused and stuck to their old breaks.