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From The Socialist newspaper, 23 September 2009

Bosses ask JCB workers for sacrifice

JCB workers have been made to pay for the economic crisis over the last year with 1,600 redundancies in the UK and many other attacks on our pay and conditions. At the plant in Rocester in Staffordshire we are now expected to take an extra week off in October added to our normal week's holiday for this time of the year.

A JCB worker

The company has said that we will be paid for the week off but we have to pay them back when things improve.

This means that effectively we will have to make up 39 hours by working overtime without being paid for it or being paid an hour less than our normal 39 hours for the next 39 weeks.

At a business review meeting recently we were told that despite the recession JCB had still made 29 million profit this year and had never made a financial loss in its 64 year history. Why then do we have to work for nothing? Where has all the money gone?

Owner of JCB, Anthony Bamford saw his personal wealth increase by 600 million in 2008 to 1.8 billion. Not everyone at JCB is making sacrifices it seems.

A ballot will be held to secure agreement on this issue as JCB are breaking our contracts of employment and can only push this through with the acceptance of the workforce. At a union meeting to discuss this, we were told by the works' convenor that we have to accept this proposal or the alternative could be further redundancies.

Workers spoke out at the meeting saying that we should reject this latest attack and oppose any further redundancies. But before the meeting was over and the discussion ended the convenor walked out, saying he had another meeting to go to.

The bosses are holding a gun at the heads of workers in order to secure reductions in pay and conditions. We must oppose any further attacks by taking industrial action if necessary.

Workers at the Lindsey oil refinery and Linamar as well as the Vestas workers have inspired others to fight back against these kind of attacks and pass by union leaders who are not prepared to make a stand.

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In The Socialist 23 September 2009:

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Youth fight for jobs

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