Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/395/4489
HSBC: Striking back at pay-cutting bosses
INDUSTRIAL ACTION by Amicus members at HSBC on 27 May was taken as a result of a pay package which cut bonuses and imposed a below-inflation rise. But this action was a culmination of years of contempt shown by management to its workforce.
An Amicus/Unifi member at HSBC, Bootle
In January, the bank announced profits of £9.6 billion, an annual increase of 36%. But all HSBC management could offer its workers was a deal that gave 45% of staff a below-inflation rise and 10% no rise at all - an effective pay cut for over half its workforce!
This followed years of deals linked to complex bonus schemes and consistent below-inflation rises that left a majority of workers getting poorer. No wonder the bank is making record profits!
A solid strike on 27 May was a result of years of frustration felt by many workers. At the NWNDC in Bootle, staff held colourful and vocal pickets, turning away couriers and contractors. Royal Mail used managers as the CWU refused to cross the picket.
A number of agency workers also turned around, despite management intimidation even by a manager who is an Amicus member.
Although this was initially a 24-hour strike, it has shown finance-sector workers are not the white-collar pushovers that management think they are.
With the threat of further action and the disruption this would involve, the union should now demand proper pay rewards for all its workers as well as a recruitment drive for agency workers, linked to a campaign for secure contracts.
In The Socialist 2 June 2005: