Socialist Worker

Crunch coming at the JDE fire and rehire battle

by Ian Mckendrick
Issue No. 2760

Defiance on the picket line at the JDE coffe plant in Banbury

Defiance on the picket line at the JDE coffe plant in Banbury (Pic: Julie Simmons)

Workers at the JDE coffee plant in Banbury, Oxfordshire, struck last Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.

They are fighting against their bosses’ plans to fire and rehire them with worse terms and conditions, with some facing losses in excess of £10,000 a year. 

The 291 workers have had notice of termination of their current contract and are under pressure to sign up to the new terms before the end of August.

So far the majority of workers have stood up to the bullying tactics.

They had a further three days of strikes planned for Thursday and Sunday this week and Wednesday next week.

Coffee production is completely halted at the factory on strike days.

The Unite union organised a demonstration at the factory gates on Monday of last week with Barry Gardiner MP to launch his parliamentary bill to outlaw fire and rehire.

A law against fire and rehire would be welcome.

But Gardiner’s bill isn’t due for a second reading until October—too late for the JDE strikers.

It is also a huge gamble to hope that 86 Tory MPs will back Gardiner’s bill.

The strikers’ real strength is their ability to hit JDE’s profits.  

As the clock ticks down their best option is to escalate to indefinite action and build links with other workers to back their fight.

Donations to branch SE6228.Sort code 60-83-01 a/c ­number 33200242, name 5/614. Send messages of support to @Banbury3001 on Twitter

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