Trelleborg workers show management whose boss

With the workers at the Beaumont Ley’s Trelleborg factory having just undertaken a two-day strike, it appears that their management are determined to ignore their very reasonable demands for fair pay.

Mark Potter, the local Unite the Union rep based at the factory finds it strange that the management refuse to make their workers a reasonable offer, especially given that Trelleborg’s “operating profits for 2013 broke all their own record’s, with 2014 looking like it will be very similar.”

Such bullying from their management is however only fuelling the workers “resolve to stick together”. As Mark explained: “we had members on the first day of picketing who had just finished a full eight hour night-shift who then stood on a picket line for twelve hours solid.”

With a democratically decided strike plan in already in action, Trelleborg workers will be needing all the support they can get in the coming weeks, with workers organising a program of escalating strike action, ultimately culminating in an all-out strike if management refuse to budge.

This strategy of escalating industrial action being driven by the anger of Unite’s members due to their management’s lack of ability to listen to and resolve their issues over their 2014 pay claim.

Recognizing the wider societal context behind the current attacks on his work force, Mark pointed out that…

“The poor pay claim offer by Trelleborg’s management is part of a wider political and corporate agenda to roll back all the gains trade unions achieved since 1946, and is also is fuelled by corporate greed to maximise profits at the expense of the workers. Likewise, the Government’s attacks on the PCS union and the back-door privatization of the NHS is nothing more than Tory ideology fuelled by hatred of the working classes and anything that stands for fairness and equality in society plus organized workers which hampers the Tory party’s donor’s from making even more profits.”

Local city Councillors representing the newly formed Leicester Independent Councillors Against Cuts (LICAC) were keen to do all they can to help support the Trelleborg workers. And so last Thursday they posted the following message of solidarity:

“LICAC fully support the action being taken by workers at Trelleborg for better pay conditions. Recently we attended the Fair Pay Demonstration in London as we believe that all workers should have better pay conditions in these ever more difficult financial times. The cost of living is rising faster than the incomes of the majority of the country’s workforce, a situation that cannot be sustained. We urge Trelleborg to reconsider their offer and value their staff, who are the real key to the furtherance of their company and set a precedent for other companies to follow. Leicester companies should break the mould, be innovative in their approach to supporting their staff, as in return a workforce empowered will deliver and strengthen the local economy.”

This week Trelleborg workers are stepping up the tempo of their strike, with three days of industrial action recommencing on Wednesday 26th November, lasting until Friday evening. Daily pickets will be maintained from 5.30am until 5pm every day, so if you are free get down to their factory to support their action — 1 Hoods Close Leicester LE4 2BN, between Beaumont Leys and Red Hill, Beaumont Leys Lane off Krefeld Way.