Socialist Worker

Reports round-up

Issue No. 1983

Component staff reject new shifts

Workers at car component company Unipres in Washington, Tyneside, are balloting for industrial action over plans to introduce Saturday working.

Unipres, which supplies body parts to Nissan and Honda, announced last summer that it intended to introduce banked working hours, which will mean closing the plant on seven Fridays to bring the company in line with Nissan’s working patterns.

This will require Unipres workers to “pay back” that time by working a minimum of six Saturday shifts over a 12 month period.

The Amicus union members’ strike ballot comes after the 700-strong workforce rejected the new shifts by over nine to one.

The result of the ballot will be known on Wednesday of next week. Amicus regional officer Carol McFarlane says the company has made no attempt to negotiate with staff or to reach a compromise deal.

Helicopter bosses are in a total spin

Civilian staff at a Shropshire airbase struck on Thursday of last week.

Amicus union members at FB Heliservices (FBH) at RAF Shawbury walked out in a pay dispute. They voted for action after months of talks broke down.

FBH maintains helicopters for the Defence Helicopter Flying School.

The workers voted to strike even though those at FBH’s base in Hampshire have accepted a similar deal.

Shropshire staff have been offered 4 percent this year and 3.5 percent next year. About 25 workers were on the picket line.

Mick Tuff from Amicus said workers had been “stitched up” in pay talks. Workers say the basic pay of £17,000 for technicians was not enough.

A revised offer may be put to the union in two weeks.

Westland dispute not in flight yet

The Amicus union has postponed a strike planned at Westland Helicopters after management made an improved offer.

About 700 design, computing and clerical staff were due to walk out after rejecting a 6.4 percent wage increase over two years.

Workers have been pushing for parity with their counterparts elsewhere in the aircraft industry.

Demanding a festival of unity

Hundreds of people in the Rusholme area of Manchester are backing a call for the council to support the annual Mela festival that takes place there.

“An annual Eid Mela would be the ideal opportunity to reflect the unity of our city,” explained Nahella Ashraf from Respect in the area.

Last year an application for a Mela in Platt Fields was rejected by the council on “health and safety grounds”.

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Sat 14 Jan 2006, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1983
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