Sunday, 11 December 2011

AEI Cables Workers Still Resolute

Last May 126 employees at AEI Cables in Birtley County Durham were handed letters informing them that they no longer had a job.
They were informed that the company which had been bought for £14.5 million by New Delhi-based Paramount Communications in 2007, had ran into difficulties as the price of copper doubled in price.
The company's creditors accepted a proposal for the company to enter a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), but failed to consult with trade unions, and the sacked workers have had no redundancy payments despite having an enhanced redundancy scheme.
They were told they would have to get them from the government.

Taxpayer's money had to be used to pay the workers but the Taxpayer's Alliance don't seem to be shouting about this do they?
Bill Doyle, who is acting as an unofficial coordinator, explained that when the company entered into a CVA, the workers were issued with immediate notices to end their employment, with no redundancy money, 'We have to go through the rigmarole of fighting for it', he said.
Another worker told how they were all 'shell shocked, devastated at the way we've been treated.' He went on to say that he had been at the factory for over 20 years; 'All I got was a letter through the door, no explanation.
I'm relying on my wife's wages now - which isn't much money.'
Since the sacking of these loyal workers the company have taken on from outside those that were sacked.
All of those sacked are members of Unite and GMB and are determined to fight for justice. They need support and every avenue must be explored to ensure they get that justice.

Unite Executive Council Statement

This Unite Executive Council congratulates the two million trade unionists, including thousands of UNITE members, who struck on November 30th in defence of their pensions and our public services. The EC also welcomes and extends a huge thank you to the general public that supported in their millions and made the day a tremendous success, proving not only that we have public support but that government attempts to divide our communities will fail.

This EC also recognises that this government is stepping up its fight against all working people with its threat to further attack trade union democracy, introduce more anti-trade union legislation and remove and/or further weaken employment protections for all.

This EC believes that the union, working in cooperation with other public sector trade unions needs to now work up a strategic plan to escalate the action to win decent pensions for all. Action that will not only protect the pensions of our public service membership but workers across the private sector facing similar attacks on their pension schemes.

This Executive Council
  • calls for a review of actions taken on the 30 November involving meetings in the regions as well as nationally, to see how we move forward together, share best practice and analyse strengths and weaknesses from the day. Further, we must grasp this opportunity to recruit new members and develop new stewards as part of a revitalised activist’s organisation across the union.
  • supports a plan to further nationally coordinated strike action with other public sector trade unions. The key to winning is to quickly and significantly escalate the action as early as possible in the New Year and coordinating this with private sector actions being planned as employers opportunistically attempt to undermine and/or close pension schemes across our economy.
  • supports a national march in defence of our NHS in the New Year.
  • congratulates the TUC on its coordination of action across our nations in support of each other and calls on all unions to stand together in opposition to government attempts to divide unions and offer terms of settlement to some while continuing the attack on others.
  • condemns the government and their media mogul friends who have tried to divide public and private sector workers with the claim that public sector workers have pensions far better than those enjoyed by their colleagues in the private sector. It’s time to level up not down!
  • notes that private sector workers have seen attacks on their schemes in recent years. There have been a number of strikes and threat of strikes with unions fighting back and winning concessions, despite the law being stacked against them and little legal protection for private sector schemes.