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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 October 2018

Cable makers' pay strike bites as production falls 33%

Industrial action has cut monthly cable production by a third

Industrial action has cut monthly cable production by a third   (Click to enlarge)

Bea Gardner, Southampton Socialist Students

Production at Prysmian Cables and Systems in Eastleigh, Hampshire has dropped by a third since workers launched industrial action in September.

Members of general union Unite held their third 24-hour strike, over a peanuts 2% pay increase offer, on 10 October. Members of Southampton Socialist Students, Southampton Socialist Party and the Community section of Unite joined the picket lines in solidarity.

Workers organised an impressive march through the town centre to raise the profile of the action, which bolstered everyone's spirits and confidence.

Since the action began in September, the expected output of the factory has been reduced from 1,200 tonnes to just 800 this month. Management has yet to agree to return to negotiations, so the union has set a fifth strike date.

Combined with the 24-hour stoppages, work-to-rule action is also causing chaos for the bosses, with machinery clogging up, breaking down and being switched off by workers no longer prepared to fill in for the company's lack of investment.

One striker told us the factory is run on the goodwill of workers. Another said that since he started working there 16 years ago, the workforce in his department has been cut in half. He added that the refusal of the multibillion-pound company to invest has meant workers taking on more and more duties to keep things running, including work previously done by machines that have broken and not been replaced.

The determination to keep fighting was clear, and Socialist Students members will continue to show our support for the workers of Prysmian who deserve far more than a below-inflation pay 'rise' of 2%.


Prysmian cable workers on strike in Eastleigh, 26.9.18, photo Declan Clune

Prysmian cable workers on strike in Eastleigh, 26.9.18, photo Declan Clune   (Click to enlarge)

Workers walked out on their third out of four strike days at cable manufacturer Prysmian in Eastleigh on 10 October. They are organised by general union Unite.

Fifty strikers were on the picket line in good spirits, with supporters including five local members of the Socialist Party. We marched to Eastleigh shopping centre.

This is the first dispute at Prysmian in 30 years, and workers are only asking for a 2.5% pay increase. There are separate disputes at sites in Wales and Spain. The planned fourth strike day is 17 October.

Mike, Southampton Socialist Party

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In The Socialist 17 October 2018:


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News

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New anti-poll tax type revolt needed today

Homeless driven from Windsor streets for royal wedding: abolish the monarchy and end homelessness now!

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No to fat-cat top judges' 59k pay hike - fight for decent pay for criminal justice workers

Tory and Trump hypocrisy over murder of Saudi Arabian journalist


Mental health

Fully fund mental health services now


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PCS union: nominate Chris Baugh as Left Unity candidate for assistant general secretary

Striking Brum home carers reject 'final' pay cut offer

South Western rail workers launch five-day safety strike to save guards

Uber drivers strike against unfair 'deactivation' and low pay

Bolton hospital workers strike

Grimethorpe dinner ladies stage all-out strike against redundancy

Cable makers' pay strike bites as production falls 33%

Newham finance staff fight pay and grading insult


International socialist news and analysis

Libres y Combativas: striking for women's rights in the Spanish state


Engels

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Devon foster carers fight 30% cut in allowances

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Peterloo film exposes bloody nature of capitalism

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