By Pat Carmody
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Fight any rotten deal over JDE fire and rehire strike

This article is over 2 years, 9 months old
Issue 2763
Demonstrating at JDE in Banbury, Oxfordshire, in May
Demonstrating at JDE in May (Pic: Conor Kennelly)

After talks that followed two months of rolling strikes against fire and rehire, the Unite union and coffee giant Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE) are thought to have reached a deal.

Almost 300 workers at the plant in Banbury, Oxfordshire, have fought courageously against outrageous attacks from the bosses. However, according to a number of JDE strikers it is not the deal that they fought so hard for.

Full details were not available at the time of writing, but it would appear that the deal contains the huge pay cuts and the major attacks on shift patterns that workers at JDE have been resisting. It also looks as though 23 workers will be made redundant.

If this is the case, this would be a major setback for workers at the plant and the struggle against fire and rehire.

And it could have been so different.

Antiquated machinery at the plant meant it took at least a few days to get production running again after just one strike day.

As a result, hundreds of tonnes of coffee were lost in production.


With the bosses using a thinly-veiled threat of closure, the workers were determined not to be blackmailed.

Many workers on those fantastic pickets and protests outside the factory said that they would rather the plant close than accept those rotten contracts.

What’s behind the surge in ‘fire and rehire’ attacks?
What’s behind the surge in ‘fire and rehire’ attacks?
  Read More

Even now, if Unite told bosses that the deal is off and gets strikes back on then workers could win.

Workers should pressure the officials to scrap the deal and use some of the union’s much-vaunted £40 million war chest to support an all-out indefinite strike.

There should also be calls for support from the wider workers’ movement and from JDE workers internationally.

That could beat the bosses’ fire and rehire weapon.





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