Socialist Party
| Print

3 May 2007

Support the Sunvic strikers

STRIKING WORKERS from the Sunvic Controls factory in Uddingston, Scotland attended a Solidarity election rally in the Glasgow Concert Hall on 25 April.

Ray Gunnion, International Socialists, CWI Scotland

There was thunderous applause and support for their continued struggle when two Sunvic strikers explained their case to over 500 who had come to hear Tommy Sheridan and George Galloway.

After the Rally, the Sunvic delegation collected over 250 for their strike fund. Earlier in the week they had received a cheque for 150 from Solidarity - Central Region.

TGWU shop steward Margaret Quinn said: "The rally gave us a lot of support and encouragement and Solidarity has given us advice which we are going to act on." Margaret went on to say "The workers at Sunvic have been deeply insulted and offended by the shoddy way they have been treated by management. They tell us that the firm is over-manned but instead of honouring redundancies agreements they would rather pay unskilled labour at far higher rates than us."

On the picket line on 30 April, Jean Hughes said: "After being out now for six weeks we are solidly sticking together. We don't see an end in sight but we are going to dig in."

Ellen Paterson, described on the line as a "real fighter" has been with Sunvic for 35 years, she described the management treatment of the workforce as "a disgrace". She doesn't think the management are interested in settling this dispute. "The owner is never here and will not meet with us. The site management and unskilled workers are insulting and cheeky to us on the picket line, but if we retaliate in any way, they phone the police."

Tommy Sheridan, co-convenor of Solidarity - Scotland's Socialist Movement, was on the picket line at 8.30am on Monday and had this to say in support of the strikers: "This group of overwhelmingly women workers deserves the support, not only of Solidarity, but of the whole trade union movement, not just in Scotland, but across England, Wales and further afield. I would appeal to rank and file workers, in particular, to support these workers financially and also by passing motions of support at local branches. After six weeks of strike action, it is now obvious that this employer wants to force these workers onto the streets.

"They have found strength they did not know they had to fight against this bullying employer and the whole trade union movement should come in behind them. These workers are a tribute to the trade union movement, but unfortunately the trade union movement, so far, has not done enough to recognise their courage."

Stop Press: The Scottish committee of the Fire Brigades Union have invited a delegation of Sunvic strikers to address their meeting on 1 May, with a view to giving a substantial donation to their strike fund. This is exactly the type of solidarity gesture which is necessary, not only to sustain this struggle, but to encourage other workers to take the action necessary to preserve their jobs and conditions against the aggressive management tactics which the Blair/Brown administration implicitly seem to condone.

The trade union movement must begin to re-ignite its own slogan: "An injury to one is an injury to all".

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