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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 September 2012

Workers' unity against brutal bosses

Mick Whale, Secretary Hull NUT

Striking workers at the Cranswick Foods meat processing factory at Preston near Hull have won a temporary reprieve from brutal new working conditions.

Cranswick management want to speed up the track to further exploit the workforce.

A Cranswick worker explained: "At the moment, two of us working together are expected to process 500 carcasses an hour. Management want to have us working alone and have each one of us processing 350 carcasses an hour.

This is nearly a 50% increase in what we are expected to produce for no extra pay. In fact we haven't had a pay increase for ten years."

Management have not had to deal with a union and a strike before and they have clearly been shaken by the solidity of the strike and the determination of the strikers organised by the GMB.

The management have agreed to go back round the negotiating table and not implement the speed-ups for a month while negotiations continue. This is a reprieve rather than a victory but the strength of the union action has forced management back.

A particularly inspiring feature of the strike has been the unity of the overwhelming majority of the workforce who are Polish with the English workers.

This shows again that the labour movement and working class action can bring about unity.

The language difficulties have been at least partially overcome through the GMB producing leaflets in Polish.

As one English worker joked: "I can't understand a word they are saying but we all understand the words 'strike' and 'picket line'"

As the picket line broke up many of the Polish workers were chanting "GMB, GMB".

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In The Socialist 12 September 2012:


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Build a 24-hour general strike

TUC passes general strike motion

NSSN lobby demands a 24-hour general strike

Teachers must unite against Tories


Socialist Party news and analysis

Nationalise the banks

Cabinet reshuffle

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After the Paralympics... Stop the Con-Dems' assault on disabled

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'Red tape' bonfire puts workers at more risk

More bad news from media mogul Murdoch


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Socialist Party feature: TUSC

We need a political voice to fight austerity


Socialist Party youth and students

Socialist students: Fighting for education

Bristol YFJ: "We're not lazy - we're fighting back"

Global youth unemployment rises

Youth Fight for Jobs in action! Coming events


Socialist Party workplace news

Workers' unity against brutal bosses at Cranswick Foods

East Coast train cleaners on strike

RMT assistant secretary arrested on picket line


Fighting NHS cuts

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Sheffield Socialist Party pickets strike-breaking facility

Brent Labour: Making families homeless

Young tenants to lobby Leeds council over housing crisis


Reviews and comments

The Reunion rewrites history: the Poll Tax

The shame of sexism in sport

How we stopped the racist EDL


 

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