The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 23rd November 2018

The Wages Struggle

by New Worker correspondent

WORKERS at Johnson Matthey’s chemical factory at Clitheroe, Lancashire are balloting over a tight-fisted pay offer. Over 150 workers belonging to Unite, including chemical process workers, maintenance engineers, manual and office workers, are taking part in the industrial action ballot over the company’s final pay offer for a one-year deal of 2.75 per cent.

Unite regional officer Pat Coyne, reflecting the views of his members, said: “Our members are growing angry over their five month long pay dispute.

“Industrial relations have been strained during the last couple of years and our members have made costly sacrifices. “We are calling on Johnson Matthey to reward its most valuable asset, its employees with a decent pay deal that reflects the true cost of living for Unite members and their families.”

Further south, Unite has taken umbrage at Bristol Waste, a wholly owned subsidiary of the council, for purchasing 600 tickets for its staff to see Cinderella at the Bristol Hippodrome. The highly profitable company made £3 million profit on a £28 million turnover last year, the equivalent of £3,600 per employee, however it has refused to make an acceptable pay offer. It first offered a 1.5 per cent increase, later increased to two per cent. The union is seeking a 3.3 per cent pay rise in line with the retail price index (RPI).

Unite’s South West regional secretary Steve Preddy said: “By bulk buying pantomime tickets it looks like Bristol Waste is trying to bribe our members to accept a below inflation pay increase.”

He also pointed out that: “The two per cent pay offer currently on offer is in effect a real terms pay cut. Bristol Waste is a highly profitable company and can entirely afford to give our members a fair pay increase. Of course workers welcome a Christmas party or outing but not at the expense of their pay.

“Bristol Waste needs to drop its tawdry gimmicks and get back round the table and offer a fair pay rise.”