Socialist Worker

Round-up: JDE coffee, Veolia, Ealing, Norwich, Weetabix

Issue No. 2756

Protesting at JDE

Protesting at JDE (Pic: Conor Kennelly)

Strikers at the Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE) coffee plant in Banbury, Oxfordshire, were set to strike for 72 hours from Wednesday to Saturday this week.

This follows two 24-hour strikes by Unite union members and a continuous overtime ban since 1 May by the 291 workers.

Plans to fire and rehire the workforce will see workers lose up to £12,000 a year.

A protest, the fourth consecutive one, was also held outside the coffee site last Saturday.

Production at the site has been “ground down” and may now lead to shortages for top brands such as Tassimo, Kenco and L’OR Coffee.

Stink at Veolia

Workers at waste collector Veolia are balloting for strikes over pay freezes.

The Unite union has warned of “a big stink” coming this summer if workers from the commercial bin service collection strike.

The ballot opened last Friday and closes on 7 June.

Veolia operates from over 25 depots across Britain. Bosses are attempting to impose a pay freeze of workers for 2021—as well as not making a pay offer for 2020.

These freezes will cost workers £20 a week in wages.

New strike dates in Ealing

Ealing Civil Enforcement Officers in west London have announced new 72-hour strikes, beginning on 1 June and 9 June.

They work for outsourcer Serco and are fighting the targeting of individual staff and the misuse of the absence policy

The Unite union condemned a move by Ealing council to have a Unite Serco rep removed from his duties.

Resistance in Norwich

Strikes by around 170 environmental workers in Norwich were set for this week.

Unite union members working for arms-length company Norwich City Services Ltd were set to strike from 26 May to 2 June and Unison members on 26, 27, 28 May and 1, 2 June.

Stop fire and rehire at Weetabix

Weetabix bosses are trying to force through fire and rehire at the company’s Northamptonshire factories. But workers are fighting back.

Engineers at factories in Kettering and Corby in the Unite union were set to begin a strike ballot on Thursday this week.

Weetabix has issued the engineers with new contracts and work patterns, which will result in major cuts in shift allowances.

Some of the engineers will lose £5,000 a year.

Unite regional officer Sean Kettle said, “Unite will not sit idly by and allow our members to be fired and rehired.”

Unite regional secretary for the East Midlands Paresh Patel said, “Weetabix should be paying a bonus for working through the pandemic, not attempting to slash wages.”

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