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From The Socialist newspaper, 24 November 2021

Panasonic workers strike against pay freeze

Panasonic picket 22 November, photo Dave Reid

Panasonic picket 22 November, photo Dave Reid   (Click to enlarge)

Dave Reid, Socialist Party Wales

About 100 workers at Panasonic's factory in Cardiff took their second day of strike action on 22 November for a decent pay rise. Panasonic has offered yet another pay freeze. The workers, members of the GMB union, are demanding 5%, itself a 'stand-still' pay rise, merely keeping up with cost of inflation after years of pay freezes and below-inflation pay rises.

Panasonic, which has an annual turnover of 50 billion a year, claims it cannot afford a real-terms pay increase this year. It offered the Cardiff workforce 1%, but when that was rejected it withdrew even that paltry rise.

Production workers are paid the minimum wage of just 9.18 an hour, despite having important skills. Their pay would rise by 3.5% to 9.50 anyway in April because of the rise in the minimum wage.

The company managed to keep production of microwaves going through the first strike day, but much of the work had to be binned because the work, using unskilled labour, was no good. The company would have lost thousands.

Skilled warehouse workers are currently paid 10.50 an hour, while the going rate for the Panasonic workers' level of skills is more like 13 an hour. The Socialist Party calls for a 15 minimum wage for all.

In the past, Panasonic was seen as a good place to work, but for years workers' pay has fallen further and further behind the cost of living, with pay freezes and below-inflation pay rises every year. The company has been chasing low wages, closing down other plants in Cardiff and Newport 15 years ago, and transferring production to new factories in eastern Europe and Vietnam.

After years of pay cuts and bullying management, Cardiff workers have had enough. 40 workers have turned out to support the picket line. An overtime ban continues. The next two strike days are on 29 November and 6 December, and the strikers are looking to spread the strike through the site, with members looking to move to two-day strikes.

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In The Socialist 24 November 2021:


News

Workers' action can defeat weak and divided Tories

Working class strangled by price rises and pay cuts

Poorer pensioners fleeced by social care cap

Tories hammer nail in pensions triple lock coffin

HS2 eastern route cancelled: Fight for a workers' plan for public transport

Cricket's history of racism and elitism


NHS

Midwives march against unsafe staffing and for adequate funding

Tories responsible for NHS staff shortages


Violence against women

End sexism and violence against women


Socialism 2021

Socialism 2021: A steely determination to change society

What did you think of Socialism 2021?


Workplace news

Support uni workers' walk-out on pay and pensions

RMT to strike in London night-tube dispute

Panasonic workers strike against pay freeze

Tesco warehouse workers ballot for strike action

Sage care home workers' pay victory


International news

Historic victory of India's farmers

Sudan: "Hamdok has sold the revolution!"

USA: Right-wing vigilante Rittenhouse acquitted - capitalist courts will not defend the working class!


Working class history

Chartism: The world's first working-class movement


Neurodiversity

The struggle for accessible workplaces and an inclusive society


Obituary

Obituary: Ted Austin (1940-2021) - working-class socialist stalwart


Campaigns

Victory! Hackney children's centres saved!

West Sussex: Payouts for council bosses, cuts for us

Newham: Durning Hall - another shameful act of Labour gentrification

Slough: Adult service cuts will leave vulnerable homeless

Northampton: Phoney consultation to mask cuts

Selling the Socialist


 

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Related links:

Pay:

triangleSupport uni workers' walk-out on pay and pensions

triangleTesco warehouse workers ballot for strike action

triangleSage care home workers' pay victory

triangleWorking class strangled by price rises and pay cuts

triangleWorkers' action can defeat weak and divided Tories

Workers:

triangleHistoric victory of India's farmers

triangleThe struggle for accessible workplaces and an inclusive society

triangleChartism: The world's first working-class movement

triangleSocialism 2021: A steely determination to change society

Strike:

triangleRMT to strike in night-tube dispute

triangleOutsourced Barts health workers in strike ballot for a pay rise

triangleUniversity bosses' pay piles up while workers are forced to strike

Cardiff:

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: Lessons of October - The Russian Revolution 1917

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: The Russian Revolution 1917 - what happened?

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

24/11/21

Tesco

Tesco warehouse workers ballot for strike action

24/11/21

Higher Education

Support uni workers' walk-out on pay and pensions

24/11/21

London

RMT to strike in night-tube dispute

24/11/21

Hackney

Victory! Hackney children's centres saved

24/11/21

Socialism 2021

Socialism 2021: A steely determination to change society

24/11/21

Socialist

Selling the Socialist

24/11/21

Cuts

Northampton: Phoney consultation to mask cuts

24/11/21

Cuts

Slough: Adult service cuts will leave vulnerable homeless

24/11/21

Newham

Newham: Durning Hall - another shameful act of Labour gentrification

24/11/21

Council

West Sussex: Payouts for council bosses, cuts for us

24/11/21

Pay

Sage care home workers' pay victory

24/11/21

Pay

Panasonic workers strike against pay freeze

24/11/21

Midwives

Midwives march against unsafe staffing and for adequate funding

17/11/21

Birmingham

Birmingham People's Budget

17/11/21

South Wales

Stagecoach drivers win 10.50 an hour

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


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