More than 300 shopfloor workers at the Norgren pneumatic components factory in Lichfield, Staffordshire, began four days of strike action on Thursday of last week.
The Amicus union members are angry that a 43 percent increase in profits has been rewarded with a 2.2 percent pay offer. Basic pay for manual workers ranges from only £12,200 to £17,000 a year.
Norgren is part of IMI, a Birmingham-based engineering combine. It has seen big increases in share values over the last three years while workers have had to put up with mostly below inflation pay rises.
A lively picket on Thursday enjoyed huge support and turned away a number of deliveries to the plant.
One picket said, “The management here are out to break the union, but all they’ve done is bring us closer together.”
White collar and agency staff continue to work, but many are sympathetic to the strike, showing their support by wearing union badges. One said he was unable to work because of the noise coming from the horns and hooters of the passing lorries and cars!
A campaign is under way to win union recognition for monthly paid staff, and to get permanent status for agency staff after a year’s employment.