NSK workers on strike, March 2019, photo by Jon Dale

NSK workers on strike, March 2019, photo by Jon Dale   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Jon Dale, Mansfield Socialist Party

NSK strikers at the company’s Newark factory, which makes super-precision machine bearings, returned to work on 26 March after three weeks on strike. Management has not made a new offer but the strike ballot mandate has expired.

This is a disappointment as strikers had heard that production has been hit hard, putting the company under pressure.

Workers in the G2 department, members of Unite the Union, have been demanding an end to the shift pattern imposed two years ago.

One explained: “Due to all the hours being added colleagues have been forced to leave, relationships have broken down, and members of staff have been going off with stress and mental health-related issues.

It shouldn’t be a case of if you don’t like it leave. The company is bullying and harassing the workers into something that is not only unethical but also borderline illegal.

“We keep being told that the company needs to change with the times. We still work the same way as we did before the recession with the lines, machines and personnel but now have more hours.”

Unite should hold meetings in every department to explain the threat all workers face if management feel they can get away with it.

Links should also be made with unions at NSK factories in Peterlee, Germany and elsewhere. They are not on the same hours as G2 workers but could also find themselves threatened in future. A united struggle would quickly show management that flogging the workforce must stop.