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From The Socialist newspaper, 26 April 2007

Support the Sunvic strikers

SINCE 21 March, 42 women shop floor workers have been out on strike at Sunvic Controls, Uddingston, Scotland.

Ray Gunnion, International Socialists, CWI Scotland

Their action is officially sanctioned by AMICUS and TGWU. Management have attempted to impose a variation to their work contracts allowing for long lay-off periods when they deem it necessary. They would only be paid for eight days should the lay off last for three months.

The women now feel that their jobs are under direct threat as management have brought in temporary staff, paying them large bonuses. Some of these women have given long and faithful service to Sunvic. Between them, well over 1,000 years service.

Lynn Sheridan and Denis Reilly (Solidarity - Scotland's Socialist Movement) have made numerous visits to the picket. Workers have informed us that the scab labour are not qualified to assemble intricate heating systems and controls. The training officer has been off sick for some time. There are obvious concerns for public safety.

Sunvic Controls supply Scottish Gas and B&Q. When Denis and Lynn made these companies aware of the safety concerns, B&Q stated that their 'ethical policy', insists that all factory workers involved in assembling such systems must be fully qualified. In response to B&Q, Sunvic management have claimed their workers are fully qualified. The overwhelming evidence is to the contrary.

Lanarkshire Solidarity branch have the details of other companies Sunvic supply and the safety issue is being raised both to these companies and the general public.

The workers have learned that management, with the collusion of South Lanarkshire council, are planning to sell off the factory for private housing development. A council brochure clearly demonstrates this collusion. This issue of private housing development in the Bothwell and Uddingston district is explosive, mainly due to the lack of an adequate road system.

The strikers telephoned a local Labour councillor who claimed he supported their strike action. When asked what he had specifically done, he replied he had tooted his horn each morning as he passed them in his car! He wouldn't say why he or any other councillor has yet to visit the picket line.

The workers feel that attempts to alter their contracts is a management ruse to wriggle out of honouring existing redundancy agreements.

Lynn Sheridan, sister of the Solidarity Party's co-chair, is standing as No.1 on the Solidarity list for Central Region in the Scottish Parliament election on 3 May. Denis Reilly is standing as the Solidarity candidate for the Bothwell and Uddingston ward in the South Lanarkshire council election on the same day.

Solidarity greetings and contributions should be sent to: Sunvic Workers' Strike Fund, c/o E.Davies, 97 Glasgow Road, Wishaw, ML2 7QJ.

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