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Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/463/1735

From The Socialist newspaper, 16 November 2006

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.

Hugh Caffrey

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.

  • Please send messages of support and donations (made payable to "GMB") to Graham Wells, branch secretary, 80 St Georges Rd., Bolton, BL1 2DD. Graham can also be contacted on 01204 523 011 or Stretford@gmbunion.co.uk
  • Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


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