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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 December 2008

Appledore shipyard

Workers at Appledore shipyard in North Devon have accepted an offer from Babcock Marine management, ending their industrial action. Among other grievances, the strike action was concerned with pay, which was £60-£80 less per week than Devonport workers in the same company doing equivalent jobs. The deal sees a 12% wage increase over two years. The majority of other demands put forward by the unions (GMB and Unite) were accepted by management.

Throughout the dispute, Babcock Marine had attempted to bully and threaten the workforce into submission, with threats of closure and downsizing.

An announcement of job cuts at the company's Devonport operation was made, and middle managers were threatened with the sack if they joined in the action.

Unfortunately for Babcock, the news of their record profits had to be released at this important time also!

Despite all that the company threw at the workers, they held firm, with large numbers on picket lines and 100% of engineering staff out. Although they did not achieve parity with their Plymouth counterparts, they did achieve a significant above-inflation pay increase at a time of insecurity and increasing redundancies and cuts in working hours.

They showed that unity in action, even in the current climate, will get results, even with only a few days of strike action.

Both unions on site worked together, and they received the support and solidarity of their fellow workers at other shipyards, as well as the Socialist Party.

Jim Lowe, North Devon Socialist Party

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In The Socialist 3 December 2008:


Job losses

Fight back now against job cuts

Woolworths jobs threat

Fighting the threatened closure of Hoover factory


Environment and socialism

Our planet not their profit


Socialist Party editorial

India and Pakistan conflict

Terror mayhem strikes Mumbai


Socialist Party campaigns

Judiciary challenged over the right to protest

Building a left wing political alternative

Southampton uni students fight fees

Liverpool: mobilising against the far right

In brief


Comment

Social workers demand proper resources

Secondary education: PFI's gloss soon peels away


Socialist Party LGBT

Fighting homophobia


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

Crisis-hit capitalism fears prospect of revolution


International socialist news and analysis

Venezuela elections: Chávez wins victory but opposition gains ground


Marxist analysis: history

The Isle of Man general strike 1918: Workers' power paralysed government


Socialist Party news and analysis

Help fund the alternative to big business politics

Socialist women: Looking at the past to take action today


Housing crisis

Stop the repossessions

New Labour's housing crisis


Socialist Party workplace news

Vote 'no' to BT's pension cuts

A Christmas message from the Unite leadership

Dover docks strikes

Appledore shipyard


 

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