Picket line outside SPS Technologies, photo Leicester SP

Picket line outside SPS Technologies, photo Leicester SP   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Steve Score, Leicester Socialist Party

Unite members at SPS Technologies in Leicester have ended their strike action against the attempt by management to attack their terms and conditions using ‘fire and rehire’ tactics.

After four initial one-day strikes, and part way through the planned eight-week strike, the management backed down on much of the attack that could have left workers losing up to £3,000 a year. Union leaders, who describe it as a victory, ‘strongly recommended’ the management’s offer and there was a 90% vote to accept.

The union did, however, make some concessions to management.

Given the intimidation involved in fire and rehire, with the potential of losing your job, and the background of economic downturn affecting the aviation industry which SPS supply, the workers showed huge courage and determination in the strike. There were hundreds of redundancies last year.

After a long period of many years without any industrial action in the factory, workers gave the boss a lesson that they would not just roll over in the face of bullying.

The company is owned by multibillion-dollar US Precision Castparts Corporation, which is in turn owned by a holding company whose CEO is Warren Buffet, the seventh richest person in the world. Workers’ action can push back even the most powerful representatives of the super-rich!

The fire-and-rehire tactic has sparked a number of disputes around the county and needs to be fiercely opposed by the trade union movement as a whole. We are now in a period of sharpened class struggle!