The Socialist 7 October 2010
Tories turn clock back
PDFs for this issue
Support TSG strike
Unscrupulous bosses at Tyneside Safety Glass (TSG) want to drive down the pay and conditions of the workforce - but the first week of solid strike action shows that TSG workers are determined to fight this. Now entering the second week of strike action, workers are standing firm!
Elaine Brunskill, Tyneside Socialist Party
Even before the strike, the overtime ban alone had slashed the deliveries from the factory by half. In the first week of strike action production of good quality safety glass plummeted.
The mood on the picket lines has been upbeat and this was re-enforced by support from other Unite branches and members of other unions visiting the picket lines.
One of the strikers, Peter White, told how pay and working conditions are being pushed back: "I started work in the shipyards aged 15 in the 1960s. When I was young we often went on strike for better pay and conditions. Back then there was no anti-trade union laws - just a show of hands. Now working conditions have been set right back - conditions here are terrible."
The management have a 'dignity at work' policy but this is seen as a joke by workers. Complaints were also expressed by strikers on health and safety issues, such as machines blocking fire exits, lack of fire-drills, and the stench from toilets as the company got rid of cleaners six months ago.
TSG management used agency workers during the first week of the strike in a desperate, and not very successful, attempt to keep production going.
Agency workers should be given full contracts on the same rates, terms and conditions as all other TSG workers.
In this issue
Defend Child Benefits
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party workplace news
Health and Safety
Europe: fighting the cuts
International socialist analysis
Socialist Party review