Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/570/7032

From The Socialist newspaper, 11 March 2009

Workers occupy to fight for rights

International Socialists build support for the workers

International Socialists build support for the workers

The occupation at the Prisme packaging factory in Dundee has continued into its sixth day. 12 workers have been sacked without notice. They were given their P45s along with letters stating that although the management accepted they were owed thousands of pounds: "Unfortunately, we do not have any money to make these payments to you."

Philip Stott

The letters advised the staff to contact Citizens Advice and to go to a tribunal. The company hoped the workers would go home quietly. They were wrong.

On 4 March at 5pm, their last day of employment, the workers took the courageous decision to occupy the factory to demand what was due to them and to expose the shabby behaviour of the company directors. David Taylor, one of the sacked workers said: "They treated us like second class citizens and wanted to wash their hands of us - we were not prepared to accept this."

Dundee workers at Prisme occupy to fight for their rights, photo International Socialists

Dundee workers at Prisme occupy to fight for their rights, photo International Socialists

The managing director resigned two days before the workers were sacked - probably in an effort to avoid liability. The solicitor representing the remaining director refused to tell the staff who owned Prisme, claiming the director was not the major shareholder.

After the workers investigated further it turned out that 85% of the shares had, up to a year previously, been transferred to a company GO Automatics which was registered at an address shared with a chartered accountants, Dand and Carnegie in Dundee. Alan Dand was named as a director of GO Automatics.

Despite trying to contact Alan Dand and being told variously that GO Automatics no longer existed and Alan Dand was no longer the director, the workers refused to give up. Members of Solidarity and the International Socialists went to the offices of Dand/Carnegie on 6 March and asked to speak to Alan Dand.

He refused to come out but we passed on the message that unless Alan Dand met with the workers we would have no choice but to come back with protesters and the media. He called the workers 20 minutes later and arranged to meet representatives of the staff that afternoon.

Inside the occupation, photo International Socialists

Inside the occupation, photo International Socialists

It now seems that Alan Dand as a chartered accountant held the shares for which he was being paid 3,500 a month by Prisme. This, it seems, was because the owners of Prisme feared the company was going to be in difficulties and wanted to protect themselves by transferring the shares.

It is estimated that they will have paid Dand's company 40,000 for this service while claiming they have no money to make redundancy payments.

All this is apparently legal. It shows how company and employment laws are weighted heavily towards the bosses' interests at the expense of the workers.

The workers' defiant action has received national press coverage and huge solidarity from young workers, trade unionists and socialists across Scotland, Britain and internationally. They spoke at a meeting of the CWU in Dundee on 7 March, organised to highlight the scandal of Royal Mail privatisation.

Over 300 was collected at the meeting, many other donations have been made and solidarity visits to the factory from trade unionists in Dundee, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh have taken place. A group of the workers travelled to Glasgow on 9 March to speak at a Solidarity public meeting with Tommy Sheridan and others.

Support

Dundee workers at Prisme occupy to fight for their rights, photo International Socialists

Dundee workers at Prisme occupy to fight for their rights, photo International Socialists

Members of the International Socialists and Solidarity have been heavily involved in supporting the workers' occupation as well as organising political support. "The support we have had has been brilliant, it has made us feel a million times stronger.

"We have had people sleeping over with us, bringing food, organising collections. We would still be waiting now to speak to Alan Dand if you had not gone down to his office to demand action."

The occupation has shown that workers will not be walked over by the bosses and employers. As David Taylor says: "We were not militant people - just little people who refused to be little anymore. We stood up for what we believe in and we are all proud of that."

The workers have demanded that the company books be opened to inspection to see the real state of the company. While pursuing their legal rights for the full payment of what they are due, a number of workers have now agreed to pursue the possibility of setting up a workers' cooperative to ensure a continuation of employment.

Messages of support should be sent to: 07970 875455 or email prismeworkerssolidarity@googlemail.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 11 March 2009:

Fight against unemployment

Youth Fight for Jobs


War and terrorism

Northern Ireland: Sectarian violence returns

Guadeloupe: Workers' general strike victory


Socialist Party campaigns

Scrap PFI Now!

No college cuts in Wales

Tyne and Wear Metro

Council pay fiasco


Socialist Party feature

Miners' strike 1984-85


Socialist Party workplace news

Dundee workers occupy to fight for rights

Thousands of workers affected by construction industry blacklist

Construction workers' dispute: National action needed

Airwave jobs strike

Amicus: Good left vote

South Eastern Trains


 

Home   |   The Socialist 11 March 2009   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Dundee:

triangleScotland: Towards a second indyref?

triangleScottish elections: strong mood for anti-cuts strategy continues

triangleScotland: battle heats up against council cuts

triangleWest Dunbartonshire teachers' strike

triangleQuiz of the year

Solidarity:

triangleTamil Solidarity and Refugee Rights activists meeting

triangleUnite day of action against blacklisting

triangleManchester Socialist Party: Solidarity meeting - hear from Manchester strikers

triangleNSSN meeting brings together workers in struggle

Occupation:

triangleTrump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian conflict

triangleScotland: BiFab workers' occupation and march secures jobs and pay guarantee

triangleHousing crisis: Corbyn's positive measures blanked by Labour's right

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

13/12/17

London

Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

13/12/17

Fracking

Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

13/12/17

Devon

Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

13/12/17

Miners

Tory plan to hold dinner at coal mining museum defeated

13/12/17

Bradford

Bradford campaign to save children's services launched

13/12/17

South London

South London health bosses' cover-up

13/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite day of action against blacklisting

13/12/17

Brighton

Brighton victory

13/12/17

Newham

Newham anti-academies strikes

13/12/17

Tamil Solidarity

Tamil Solidarity and Refugee Rights activists meeting

12/12/17

Woolwich

Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

7/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite protest against blacklisting

7/12/17

RMT

Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

6/12/17

Donald Trump

Mobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain

6/12/17

Transport

Arriva bus strikers stand firm

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Dec Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangle13 Dec Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

triangle13 Dec Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangle13 Dec Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian...

triangle13 Dec Labour 'purge' furore really just democracy

EU parliament, Strasbourg

triangle13 Dec Brexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

triangle12 Dec Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

More ...

triangle14 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Universal Credit - the Tories' latest assault on the poor

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

triangle21 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Socialists and the National Question

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2