Ink workers pay walk out

Tom Hunt, Mansfield Socialist Party

Socialist Party members joined the picket line at one of the sites of the only ink manufacturer in the UK.

Almost 200 Sun Chemical workers commenced an overtime ban on the 6 June followed by a 24-hour strike at seven sites across the country. The strikes would hit big players like the Daily Mail and the Multi-Color Corporation.

Sun Chemical employees, who are members of Unite, took action over an insulting 3% pay offer. The company is part of a global corporation that has reported to have made 2.5 billion in profits in 2021!

As there are relatively small numbers of workers at the Alfreton (Derbyshire) site, they were picketing in twos for two-hour shifts. The pickets were happy to receive the solidarity and support from the Socialist Party.

Workers I spoke to say this is the first time many of them have taken industrial action, but the mood was buoyant. Conversations regarding the cost-of-living crisis were anger-provoking.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham says: “Unite will not sit by while super-rich companies add to their wealth but tell their workers to swallow what amounts to a pay cut.” Workers are adamant that the strike will escalate if the dispute is not resolved.