Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 24 March 2021

Engineering workers strike against 'fire and rehire' in Leicester

Engineering workers' picket in Leicester. Photo: Steve Score

Engineering workers' picket in Leicester. Photo: Steve Score   (Click to enlarge)

Steve Score, Leicester Socialist Party

Workers at SPS Technologies in Leicester have taken strike action against the company's 'fire and rehire' assault on their terms and conditions. These attacks could mean them losing up to 3,000 a year. The engineering company supplies parts to the aerospace industry and is using the Covid-19 sparked downturn as justification.

It is owned by the multibillion-dollar US Precision Castparts Corporation, whose holding company is Berkshire Hathaway, which has one of the richest men in the world - Warren Buffet - as its CEO.

Socialist Party members supported the picket lines, along with Kumaran Bose, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate in the North Evington by-election, and spoke to the Unite members. A large number of workers are involved in the picket lines, attending in shifts. They expressed anger at the company and the fact that the managing director is not taking a cut in his inflated salary, while they would have to struggle to pay their bills and mortgages on significantly less.

They have been on the picket line at the same time that, elsewhere in the city, British Gas engineers have also been out against the fire-and-rehire attack on them. Far from being 'all in it together', it is clear this tactic is becoming a generalised attack by bosses on workers' living standards under the cover of the pandemic.

Tony Cattermole, Unite Convener, said: "This is our second of four one-day strikes. We don't accept the new terms and conditions that are part of the company's fire and rehire. We are talking and want to reach agreement. But it is disappointing, because last year we had 200 redundancies and we have worked all through the pandemic. They have been after our terms and conditions for four years. Why choose to do it now? Clearly the managing director has made the pandemic his excuse.

"We hope it doesn't come to it, but after the four days of action we are planning an eight-week solid strike.

"Fire and rehire is a scare tactic. I feel sorry for those who aren't in the union and don't have our support. We had about 180 members here before this; now another 30 have joined. Through strength and solidarity, we are able to fight this."

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 24 March 2021:


Protesting is not a crime

Defying the anti-protest restrictions

Police attempt to silence mothers

Police invade student homes


NHS pay: 15% now

Fighting NHS privatisation

Haringey: Hands off our GP practices


Battle for a fighting, anti-austerity Liverpool mayor

Why I am standing for TUSC

Help fund the Socialist Party's stand as part of TUSC

Fighting Sexual Harassment

Fighting sexual harassment and gender violence on campus

Justice for Blessing Olusegun

Film Review: Moxie

Paris Commune 150 Years

150th anniversary of the Paris Commune

2011 Pensions Strike

Lessons of the 2011 pensions strike: when workers showed their power

Workplace News

PCS elections: increased support for Broad Left Network

Engineering workers strike against 'fire and rehire' in Leicester

'Sleep-ins' ruling must lead to a huge campaign for social care workers' rights

Shrewsbury Pickets win: Convictions overturned

Sparks continue protests against deskilling

Beal High school strike as management refuse to negotiate over fair sick pay scheme

Preparing to organise workers in Enfield

Support victimised bus driver reps and Socialist Party members Declan and Moe

Goodlord workers continue all-out strike


Save John Carroll - fight is far from over!

Stop evictions and drop the debts

Online meeting - Ending violence against women, the socialist approach

Socialist Party regional conferences meet online

Readers' Opinion

The Socialist Inbox


Home   |   The Socialist 24 March 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


triangleCladding: Tories refuse to protect leaseholders again

triangleBellway must pay! Make our homes safe!

triangleGo Ahead offers deal to Manchester bus drivers

triangleGoodlord strike forces talks - solidarity needed for crucial dispute

triangleGoodlord strikers fight fire and rehire as part of day of action


triangleDefend the right to protest - to resist bosses' attacks

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleSt Mungo's strikers fight on

triangleBeal High School strike against sick policy resumes


triangleEstablishing factory sales of the Socialist in Leicester

triangleDevonport tugboat crews strike against rota changes

triangleIrish police aid strike-breaking at Debenhams store in Dublin


triangleChesterfield and Mansfield (joint) Socialist Party: What's the alternative to Starmer's Labour?

triangleBirmingham Socialist Party: How can we fight for socialist change and a new workers' party?


triangleMetroline buses to face summer of strikes unless it drops 'remote sign-on'

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


National Education Union

Four Socialist Party members elected to NEU executive


East London

Goodlord strike forces talks - solidarity needed for crucial dispute



St Mungo's strikers fight on



For a fighting, democratic, member-led union to stop the austerity attacks



Go Ahead offers deal to Manchester bus drivers



Beal High School strike against sick policy resumes



Bellway must pay! Make our homes safe!



Police attempt to intimidate Newcastle protesters



Nottingham NHS pay protest



Establishing factory sales of the Socialist in Leicester


Tony Mulhearn

Plaque dedicated to Tony Mulhearn


Socialist Party

Why you should join the Socialist Party



Defend the right to protest - to resist bosses' attacks



Sparks block Cardiff building site against deskilling



Vote 'yes' in the PCS DWP ballot

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



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

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

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793



Alphabetical listing

May 2021

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

January 2021