The Workers Party of Britain denounces the plan by Pilkingon to renege on the pay settlement it concluded with its workers and welcomes Unite’s decision to call a strike ballot over the issue.
Merseyside glassmaker Pilkington employs over a hundred workers at the Cowley Hill and Greengate sites in Saint Helens. A pay deal was agreed with management in 2019, to kick in come March 2020.
But when the time came to deliver on the promise, Nippon Sheet Glass (NSG), which owns Pilkington, announced that the advent of the covid pandemic was putting a crimp on the company’s profits, necessitating belt-tightening measures.
Needless to say, it is not company bosses whose belts they plan to tighten, but workers’ belts. Hence the current stand-off, with Pilkington wanting to trash the pay deal agreed back in 2019 and yet to be honoured in 2021.
Pilkington workers are dead right to refuse to sacrifice their pay rise on the altar of NSG’s profitability. Workers are not responsible for the consequences of the government’s gross mismanagement of the pandemic, nor are they responsible for the failure of effective demand owing to the capitalist crisis.
Workers are right to refuse to be made the scapegoats of a crisis not of their making. They are right to ballot for strike action, and they can count on our support however they choose to resist.