STRIKERS AT Metzeler's plant in Coalville, Leicestershire, held their sixth one-day strike on Monday over the company's pay offer. They were also planning to hold a vote over whether to continue the action. The 16 engineers have been fighting to wrestle a 73p an hour pay rise from the multinational company. They are in the Amicus union. Most of the 500 shop floor workers are in the TGWU union, who narrowly voted for the pay offer.
Management announced 100 job cuts last week, hitting the TGWU members, and they aim to reduce the 16 engineering jobs to four multiskilled workers. Now is the time for the unions' leaders, Derek Simpson and Tony Woodley, to send a clear message that all the workers should unite to beat Metzeler's cuts.
Neither has done this. 'We feel isolated,' said one Amicus member. 'Some of the guys are asking if they can afford to carry on the action.' Some of the TGWU members have expressed support over the weeks for the Amicus members' battle. That spirit should be built on to fight the job cuts that Metzeler wants to hit them all with.