Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/463/1735
JJB Sports on strike
NEARLY 300 GMB members employed by JJB Sports at their warehouse in Wigan are currently taking strike action. The warehouse supplies all 430 JJB Sports shops in the UK. The workers are fighting for a better basic rate of pay and a bonus system.
Already this is shaping up to be a hard-fought dispute. Currently most workers are on the minimum wage and either have no access to the bonus scheme or their targets are set so high that the scheme yields no money.
Main shareholder Dave Whelan, of Wigan Athletic fame, scuppered the pay agreement negotiated between the union and management, denouncing workers as "communists" and living in "cuckoo land". Certainly workers taking home less than £200 a week live in a different world to the likes of Whelan, who's "worth" £200 million.
The workers will be on strike again on 15 and 16 November and there is a work-to-rule and an overtime ban. GMB and 'No Sweat' activists picketed JJB Sports shops across the country and protested at the Wigan home game on 11 November.
Bosses are clearly determined to break the strike. They are using employment agencies to supply scab labour, openly breaking the law. On the 200-strong picket line on 9 November, an abusive HGV driver was too busy shouting at the pickets to look where he was driving and nearly ran over three union officials.
Socialist Party members will be helping to organise more pickets and protests in the region.
In The Socialist 16 November 2006:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
What we think
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news