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Celebrate workers’ wildcat strikes

Two wildcat strikes have shown that workers don't always need to be in a union in order to take action over conditions and pay
Issue 2816
picket line outside he gates of Cranswick Continental Foods in Pilsworth

Workers on strike outside the gates of Cranswick Continental Foods in Pilsworth

Around 100 workers at Cranswick Continental Foods in Pilsworth, Greater Manchester, launched a wildcat strike on Thursday of last week. They aren’t in a trade union and didn’t go through all the rigmaroles of the anti-union laws, such as postal ballots and giving notice. 

They just walked out because they were furious at low pay and because managers wouldn’t allow them to take proper breaks. When workers took a break, they said they were under intense scrutiny to return to work as quickly as possible. Conditions and pay were also an issue for workers. 

One worker said, “In the mornings I give a lift to some of my colleagues because they can’t afford to come to work in their own car.  “We need better conditions and to be treated like human beings, and the wages have to go up—they have to do something about it. I am sure they are aware that the cost of living is too high.

“Maybe they have a nice bank account and earn a lot of money and don’t realise for us workers it’s not the same.”

Meanwhile, Workers from Alufix staged a protest last week at the Thornton Park Residences site in Clapham, where Henry Construction is the main contractor. They used vehicles to block the entrance to the site after Alufix had its contract terminated.

Pictures shared on social media show Alufix vehicles parked outside the site gates and attempts by Henry staff to remove them with chains attached to an excavator. These walkouts add to the list of unofficial actions in the last few months. They show the boiling mood in many workplaces, and such actions deserve everyone’s support.

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