WHAT: Joint demonstration of striking Manchester Mears, Fujitsu and First Manchester workers
WHEN: Friday 26 January 2018 12:00
WHERE: Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester M1 1RG
Hundreds of Unite members will come together in central Manchester this Friday (26 January) in a joint demonstration. Workers on three separate disputes in Manchester (Manchester Mears/Manchester Working, Fujitsu and First Manchester) are all on strike this Friday (26 January) and will be joining forces in Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester.
Speakers at the event include:
- Graham Stringer MP
Lyn Collins, regional secretary of the North West TUC
Activists from the three disputes.
Prior to the commencement of the joint demonstration, workers from Manchester Mears/Manchester Working will be staging a separate demonstration at the meeting of the Combined Manchester Local Authority chaired by Manchester mayor Andy Burnham. This will be held at Greater Manchester Pension Fund Headquarters, Guardsman Town Downs House, 5 Manchester Road, Droylesen, Manchester M43 7UH. The meeting begins at 10:30.
The Mears workers are currently on a 49 day period of strike action, this follows 40 days of strikes last summer.
The current industrial action is being taken as a result of Mears failure to meaningfully negotiate on pay and conditions, the detrimental treatment of workers during the previous dispute, attacks on workers’ holiday entitlement, allocation of work to sub-contractors, inappropriate allocation of work to apprentices, trainees and improvers and proposed unilateral changes to working hours and conditions for some of the affected workers.
The initial strike action concerned pay differentials which results in the workers at Mears and Manchester Working (a joint venture company operated by Mears) being paid up to £3,500 less for the same work. This issue remains unresolved.
Bus drivers at First Manchester’s Rusholme depot have been taking strike action since October 2017, which also concerns pay parity. The workers are paid up to £5,000 a year (£95 a week) less than workers at the company’s other Manchester depot.
Workers at Fujitsu are currently embarking on 11 days of strikes in a dispute that covers the victimisation of union reps, breaches of the redundancy agreement and compulsory redundancies. As part of the victimisation culture at the company, Unite’s rep Ian Allison was dismissed after working for the company for 26 years.
Unite’s north west regional secretary Ritchie James said: “The determination of all the Unite members involved in these three long-running disputes is truly humbling, the spirit of solidarity which courses through our members, underpins what trade unionism is all about.
“At all three workplaces our members have stood up and made their voices heard after years of having endured mistreatment and exploitation by management.
“The joint demonstration will show that our members have widespread support from the wider union movement and the local community as they stand shoulder to shoulder for a fair and just deal.”
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235.
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.