Workers at the Nissan car factory in
Sunderland have voted to reject the company's recent pay offer of 2% this year
and 2% for next year, which is a below inflation pay rise and represents a cut
in real wages. The vote in the ballot was close with 51% of the whole
workforce, which included management, voting to reject.
Nissan are proposing to
rerun the ballot on the grounds that some people never voted! This blatant
undemocratic move by the company has angered workers and has strengthened their
resolve to fight for an even bigger majority to reject.
A recruitment campaign
by the shop stewards to join Amicus the union has met with great success with
hundreds flocking to join and more membership application forms having to be
ordered after the stock had run out. At the moment there is only 30% union
membership among the 4500 workforce but this is now rising rapidly as workers
see the need to be in a union in order to be able to fight back.
angry that their shifts patterns have been altered so they have to work longer
hours for the same pay. They are also angry that their pension contributions
have been increased while all new starts are denied membership of the pension scheme.
They are also angry about the compulsory requirement to work short notice
overtime (known as SNOT) which causes tremendous disruption to workers home
lives. All these issues have accumulated and have led to a new growing
militancy among Nissan workers that could lead to sudden developments.
company fail to make an improved offer there is a real prospect of strike
action at the Nissan plant for the first time in its 20-year history. This
would be an historic move that could alter completely the climate of fear that
management have created in the Nissan factory.