The ongoing series of strikes by rail workers belonging to the RMT union is getting a lot of coverage and flak in the media. Obviously, that’s because of the disruption they’re causing. A threatened teachers’ strike is also getting a fair bit of coverage as well. Strikes by transport and public sector workers will always get attention because of the impact they have on the public.
What doesn’t tend to get as much coverage are strikes in the private sector, particularly manufacturing. Well, it looks as though we have a strike by workers in the manufacturing sector pretty much on our doorstep at the CNH tractor plant: Basildon tractor factory set to be hit by strike action 21.6.22.
The strike is over a two year pay offer of 5.6% for the first year and between 1.8 and 3% for the second year. With inflation running at 11.7%, this offer represents a real terms pay cut. This comes against the background of CNH’s CEO, Scott Wine, receiving a £7.5 million signing on bonus and taking home £17.8 million in pay in 2021. It’s perfectly understandable that this has not gone down well with the skilled workers who earn Wine’s money for him!
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said:
The greed displayed by CNH’s leadership is staggering. CNH is bringing in billions and its CEO is rewarded obscene amounts, but the company’s workers are expected to swallow a real terms pay cut in a cost of living crisis.
The sickening excesses of corporations like CNH is exactly why people aren’t fooled by calls for pay restraint. Corporate profiteering is driving inflation not workers’ wages.
CNH should be under no illusions: We will be backing our members with the full force of the union in their fight for fair pay rise.
Unite regional officer Michelle Cook said:
Unite’s CNH Basildon members send solidarity to their UAW brothers and sisters striking for better pay and conditions in America.
Our message to CNH is the same: the company makes massive profits off the backs of its staff, it’s time to do the decent thing and give them a decent pay rise.
Our members are rock solid in their determination and the only way these strikes will stop is if CNH puts forward an acceptable offer.
Over 500 workers, comprising nearly the entire shopfloor of the factory, said they will strike on 30th June, 8th, 11th, 28th and 29th July and 26th and 30th August. More strikes are scheduled if the dispute is not resolved. Needless to say, we offer the striking workers our full solidarity.