Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/10835

Posted on 17 December 2010 at 13:02 GMT

Workers at Heinz strike in Wigan

Twelve hundred Heinz workers struck for 24 hours at the heart of operations of the company in Wigan, Lancashire.

Hugh Caffrey, North West Socialist Party

These workers in the Unite union are demanding fair pay and plan further action should management remain intransigent.

Heinz is a super-profitable $10 billion multinational which, like much of the private sector, has accumulated bags of cash for its bosses during the recession.

Meanwhile workers' wages are ground down by inflation and investment is neglected. "Smart" financial trickery netted one boss 12 million.

Yet workers are offered a maximum of 3.3%. Real inflation is running at 4.7% according to the Retail Prices Index. Even the government-favoured inflation measure, CPI, is at 3.3%.

Workers' real wages are falling, chewed up by the rising cost of living even in the recession.

Walk out

This is why Unite members walked out on 15-16 December, bringing the factory to a complete halt.

Pickets on all the factory entrances were supported by a large demonstration of workers outside the main gates.

Unite members spoke of the regime of bullying and intimidation inside the factory, with one worker returning from time taken off sick to cope with bereavement greeted by a disciplinary notice from the employers.

When management turned off the lights above the main gates, leaving pickets in the dark, this was met with derisory laughter from workers who have no intention of being intimidated by these petty tricks.

Impressively, almost 90% voted in favour of strike action.

The 95% vote for action short of strike is enforcing a solid overtime ban and work-to-contract.

Ian Wright, Unite convenor, said that employers nationally and internationally are watching whether Heinz can impose a real-terms pay cut.

Ian explained therefore how important it is that Heinz workers win the dispute and cut across a 'race to the bottom' in food manufacturing wages.

The next strike day will be Tuesday 21 December for 24 hours from 6am.

Further action between Christmas and New Year's Day may be necessary.


Send messages of support to wrightian5@sky.com.


Can your union branch or organisation make a donation to help fund the workers' struggle? Contact Ian for details of payment.

To make global protests to the company, see the details below.
Please copy messages of protest to Ian so that workers can see the support they are receiving.

UK

Nigel Dickie, 020 8848 2726 Nigel.Dickie@uk.hjheinz.com

Global

Michael Mullen 412-456-5751 Michael.Mullen@us.hjheinz.com

Heinz World Headquarters P.O. Box 57 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230, USA

US

Jessica Jackson, 412-237-3562 Jessica.Jackson@us.hjheinz.com

Tracey Parsons , 412-237-5774 Tracey.Parsons@us.hjheinz.com

Canada

Joan Patterson, 416-226-7587 Joan.Patterson@ca.hjheinz.com

Mexico / Venezuela -

Antonio Nunez, +58 212-909-1811 MediaContact@heinz.com.ve

Poland

Katarzyna Gospodarek, + 48 (0) 22 567 2150, Katarzyna.Gospodarek@pl.hjheinz.com

Italy

Antonio Cartolari, +39 02 5256 2357 Antonio.Cartolari@it.hjheinz.com

Netherlands

Peter Boterman, +31 30 697 Peter.Boterman@nl.hjheinz.com

Hein Kroft, +31 30 697 3606 Hein.Kroft@nl.hjheinz.com

Australia

Jessica Ramsden, +61 3 9861 5015, Jessica.Ramsden@au.hjheinz.com

China

Alice Wang, +(8620)8770-6218, Alice.Wang@cn.hjheinz.com

Japan

Akemi Tahara, +81 3 5687 7513, Akemi.Tahara@jp.hjheinz.com

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






Related links:

Heinz:

triangleHeinz strikes force improved offer

triangleHeinz Wigan - solid strikes force improved offer

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleHeinz strike again

triangleRound two of Heinz strike

Strike:

triangleSouth African Airways workers win wage increase after strike action

triangleStrikes: more determined than ever

triangleRoyal Mail court ruling - national reps meeting and solidarity action essential

triangleIt's a strike to ensure the safety of the travelling public

Wigan:

triangleBolton hospital workers strike

triangleBig victory for Wigan NHS strike against privatisation

triangle900-strong north west NHS strike

Unite:

triangleUnite against terrorism, racism, war and austerity

triangleFrimley NHS Trust: Strikers remain determined to defeat privatisation

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

12/12/19

PCS

PCS general secretary election

11/12/19

Walthamstow

Avenue of trees saved!

11/12/19

Podcasts

Latest podcasts

11/12/19

Carmarthenshire

Undervalued gritters to walk out

10/12/19

Socialist Party

Come and discuss with us after the election

10/12/19

Morrisons

Pay Deal: ACAS sides with management

10/12/19

Usdaw

The Activist Issue 82 - for retail workers

9/12/19

Swansea

Swansea: Corbyn rally attracts turnout but many can't get in

4/12/19

Socialist Party

Fight for your future - join the socialists

4/12/19

UCU

Strikes: more determined than ever

4/12/19

Socialist Students

Students and workers united in struggle

4/12/19

South Western Railway

It's a strike to ensure the safety of the travelling public

4/12/19

Surrey

Surrey firefighters to ballot on Christmas industrial action

4/12/19

Hull

Social workers lobby Hull City Council

4/12/19

Climate change

Climate strikes: Students and trade unionists protest together

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


December 2019

November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999