By Pat Carmody
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Fight brews at coffee giant Jacobs Douwe Egberts

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Issue 2753
Protesting on Saturday
Protesting on Saturday (Pic: Julie Simmons)

Workers at Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE) in Banbury, Oxfordshire, were set to strike for 24 hours this Saturday.

Unite union members began a continuous overtime ban last Saturday over the coffee company’s plans to fire and rehire 291 employees.

And more than 100 workers and their supporters joined a socially-distanced protest outside the coffee plant on May Day.

JDE is one of the latest employers to use the practice of sacking their workers and re-employing them on worse pay and conditions.

Unite convenor Chris Moon said, “It’s horrendous. Some of our members are set to lose thousands of pounds.

“I’ve had members in tears, worried that they’ll lose their homes.”


Other workers expressed their outrage at the bosses’ attacks and intimidation.

“We worked so hard throughout the pandemic —we got a couple of quid and a box of stale cakes as a thank you,” said one.

“And then this kick in the teeth.”

But the workers were buoyed by the protest, Chris Moon added, “I’m so proud of our members—it’s been a fantastic turnout.”

There was constant noise from drivers beeping their horns in support on the main road as they passed the protest outside the factory.

There’s also fantastic solidarity from JDE workers across Europe.

In France they’re discussing one-hour stoppages, and overtime bans begin next week in the Netherlands and Germany.

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