Only weeks after JJB workers scored a massive victory over anti-union boss Dave Whelan, their union (GMB) is under serious attack. One steward has been sacked and the convenor is facing disciplinary action as well.
JJB boss Whelan is notoriously anti-union and pro-poverty. His own personal fortune of £200 million is creamed from the low wages of his own staff. In 1997 workers forced JJB to increase wages. In 2006 the workers at the Wigan distribution depot took five days of strike action to secure improved and fair pay for all employees.
Now the bosses are trying to break the union. Workers are balloting for strike action with a view to walking out before Christmas. Let’s help them win! A victory for one is a victory for all!
Send messages of support to chrisfluffriley [AT] hotmail.co.uk
Here the sacked steward Chris Riley explains why he’s under attack and what will happen next.
On 30/11/2006 our full time official Sandra Blight and convenor Jon Stewart were in talks with management insisting that they reinstate me immediately and that they honour the back to work agreement signed pending a yes vote. My reinstatement was not granted and they were told I will have to go through the appeals system. Also to this, the grievance against Jon will not be dropped, again contrary to the back to work agreement.
As we thought and said at the time of my dismissal this is a direct attack against the union at JJB’s to undermine us after our recent victory. Our industrial relations weren’t the best before, now they are non-existent.
We are now in the process of balloting our members for industrial action under failure to improve industrial relations, and have called an outside members meeting next Wednesday 06-12-06 to discuss our action for the coming weeks. If there is anyone who would like to attend, your support will be more than welcome, contact me for details.
From myself and on behalf of all at JJB would like to thank everyone for the support and offers of help in beating the Dickensian dictatorship that is "Mr Wigan" and what is ultimately an attack on all trade unionists everywhere.
The response has been overwhelming and we are now organising our campaigns and we will be working with you all everywhere to set up coordinated demonstrations across the country to show our solidarity to Whelan
Already a few across the country have made plans to carry out some kind of protest this weekend. May this be the wake up call to him of what is to come. Once again thanks for your support and will be in touch soon as to what where and when.
Could I ask that you could forward this to whomever you may feel would be interested.
Chris and all at JJB