Socialist Worker

Strikes continue at Ambala foods

Issue No. 1950

On the picket line at Ambala

On the picket line at Ambala

Workers at Ambala Foods in Stratford, east London, held a second successful day of strike action on Friday of last week.

About 40 union members picketed, successfully turning away delivery vehicles.

The Asian workers prepare sweets sold in Indian restaurants and shops. Most of the 60 workers at the Stratford site have recently joined the T&G union to help them win a pay claim.

The workers asked for a £50 a week increase last year, after having had no increase for three years. Pay at the factory is little more than the minimum wage.

The Ambala bosses refused to listen and so the workers voted by 93 percent for strike action.

Lokon Miah, a T&G union steward, told Socialist Worker, “Our strike is as solid as last week’s. If the bosses don’t talk to us about our pay claim we will look into taking longer strike action.

“Things are going well today. One of the delivery vans that arrived on the site this morning, took one look at our union armbands and turned around.”

Another van driver, who was stopped at the picket line, was told that he could unload outside the factory gates and ask managers — the only ones inside the factory — to come out and haul the goods inside.

At present the workers are striking for 24 hours each Friday. But several of the workers last Friday said that escalation might be necessary as the bosses have so far refused to listen. The workers plan to hold further union meetings to discuss their next steps.

They are also trying to spread their message to other Ambala sites, and have prepared a union information sheet to distribute.

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Thu 5 May 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1950
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