WORKERS AT the Massey Ferguson tractor factory in Coventry are set to ballot for strike action against the closure of the plant. Over 1,000 angry workers, members of the TGWU union, packed into a mass meeting on Wednesday of last week. They overwhelmingly rejected a redundancy package from Agco, the US company which runs Massey Ferguson.
Agco plans to close down the factory and move its operations to France. A TGWU spokesperson said, ‘Our members are still very, very angry, because we know this is a very successful company with a full order book. ‘The closure is because the company believes it can make even more money.’
BAGGAGE HANDLERS and cabin crew at low cost airline EasyJet are being balloted on whether to strike in a dispute over a 1.5 percent pay offer. The workers’ TGWU union has been trying to negotiate a pay rise since May. But EasyJet bosses want to link any pay increase to performance. The TGWU also says EasyJet is refusing to recognise the union even though baggage handlers and cabin crew want it to represent them.
About 110 baggage handlers represented by the TGWU work at Luton airport, while 300 cabin crew are based at Luton, Gatwick, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast. The baggage handlers’ ballot will close next Monday. The result of the cabin crew vote is expected a few weeks later.
POSTAL WORKERS in Waterlooville near Portsmouth walked out on strike last week unofficially. The CWU union had agreed that there would be a strike ballot at the office, but around 100 workers struck after management staged provocations. There is clear evidence that managers have broken national agreements over staffing at the office.
Meanwhile a strike ballot continues at the East London Mail Centre. Workers are angry that a proposed move to Bromley-by-Bow will see many staff losing their present terms and conditions, including inner London weighting payments.
SOME 6,000 call centre workers across the north west of England start a ballot for strike action this week to fight for their jobs. The workers fear their jobs are under threat as their bosses in the Reality call centres, part of the Great Universal Stores empire, transfer work to call centres in India.
Call centres involved in the dispute include those in Burnley, Preston, Bolton, Leeds, Eccles, Oldham, Widnes, Manchester and Newtown in Wales. If there is a yes vote the workers, members of the Usdaw union, plan to hold two-hour strikes every day for seven weeks. The ballot closes on Wednesday 11 September.
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