Socialist Worker

MacKinnon Mills garment workers' strike

by Alan Thomson
Issue No. 2022

Garment workers at MacKinnon Mills, Coatbridge, near Glasgow, struck for 48 hours from Tuesday 3 October.

The workers are members of the Community union and are in dispute over pay.

The factory made the clothes for the European Ryder Cup golf team and sells through the Edinburgh Woollen Mill shops.

In the past ten years workers at the factory have only received three pay rises. Management recently awarded a 2.5 percent rise to non-union retail workers but imposed a 1 percent rise on the unionised factory workers.

Workers organised picket lines in shifts at the three factory gates throughout the

48 hour strike. The strike received good support from workers in the local industrial estate.

Many stopped as they drove by, to get leaflets from strikers. Post workers refused to cross the picket line and shoppers turned away from the factory shop once workers explained the dispute.

Workers are determined that their claim is just. Jo McLean has worked for 30 years in the industry.

She said, “We’re skilled machinists. During the Ryder Cup everyone wore these expensive garments, yet we’re down 20 percent in wages in ten years effectively. We’re not going to be starved into submission.”

Workers intended to strike on Tuesday 10 October and Thursday 12 October, unless management backed down.

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Article information

Sat 14 Oct 2006, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 2022
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