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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 March 2009

Sogefi workers demand strike

Workers at the Sogefi car filter plant in South Wales have had enough. At a mass meeting of 300 out of the 400 in the plant on 14 February, they brushed aside calls for calm, called from the floor for a ballot for a week's strike action and carried it virtually unanimously.

The company asked for workers to give up their flexible four weeks' holiday and return to factory shutdown. They had responded by offering a two week shutdown, retaining the other two weeks to be taken throughout the year.

The company came back, refusing the offer and demanding a pay cut of 6%, the loss of sick pay, changes to breaks and more.

The Sogefi plant - formerly Fram Filters - has made filters for the car industry for 50 years. At the end of last year, the company cut 56 jobs and closed the canteen.

There is a sense in the plant that the company is taking advantage of the downturn to cut pay and conditions, because while sales of new cars have been badly affected, filters go into existing cars. This has given the workforce confidence. They feel that if they don't take action now, there will be no end to the company's demands and they have to fight back.

For the initial 24-hour strike on 18 February, the mood on the picket line was excellent. As lorries turned around, there was a huge clap. The sense is that South Wales plants have given too much away and this is a battle that can be won.

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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.

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In The Socialist 4 March 2009:

Bosses get pay-offs, workers get layoffs

RBS pension scandal: Not a penny for these fat cats!

Hands off our post!

Stop Labour's mail sell-off


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

Marx was right all along


Socialist Party feature

Has globalisation gone into reverse?

Our democratic rights under attack by Labour


Socialist Students

Anti-fees demo success - despite NUS leaders' obstructions

Cardiff student occupation: University divests from arms trade


Youth fight for jobs

Youth Fight for Jobs

The route


Construction workers

Construction workers plan more action

Message from strike leader


Socialist Party workplace news

Stop bullying at BT

Fight the cuts in Nottingham!

Sogefi workers demand strike

NUJ action

Cover supervisors: Teaching on the cheap

National Shop Stewards Network: Brighton launch meeting


Socialist Party women

International Women's Day 8 March: Don't make women pay for the bosses' crisis

Make all women's issues trade union issues

Solidarity with Constantina Kuneva


International socialist news and analysis

Ireland: Scrap the 'pension levy': Organise a one-day general strike

Kashmir: Health workers win demands


May Day

Support The Socialist on May Day this year


 

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