SPS workers on strike in 2021 - photo Steve Score
SPS workers on strike in 2021 - photo Steve Score

Leicester Socialist Party members spoke to Paul Brown, Unite SPS branch treasurer and chair:

“Last year Unite members at SPS Technologies Leicester struck over management’s attempts at ‘fire and rehire’. After several strike days, we went on all-out strike.

“Then the management just seemed to change straight away. The next day they said ‘let’s talk about this’, and within two weeks we had settled. We’re on worse conditions than we were, but better conditions than we would have been if we hadn’t gone on strike.

“Wage negotiations should run from January to January. But management have been stalling on our pay claim and negotiations have been dragging on. So now we have balloted.

“The convenor has given management two weeks’ notice of all-out strike because that was what was effective last time. The manager is up in arms about it. He claims we have been offered 6% but that’s not the way the union sees it. It’s a complicated offer with strings attached. Management have said it will be paid from July and not backdated to January, when we should have had our pay rise.”

The strike is due to start on 30 June. Management have recruited staff on zero-hour contracts and it looks like they intend to use them to break the strike if they can. It’s urgent that these workers are recruited to the union and the union fights for their contracts to be made permanent on the same wages and conditions as everyone else.