of 24 April 2000 carries the headline ‘Skychefs win long struggle’, and the text of the article goes on to say, inter alia: “
Skychef workers won their 17-month old battle yesterday for the right to return to work … The settlement agreed yesterday includes the right for the workers to return to their former jobs and compensation payments
“. The article quotes T&G General Secretary, Bill Morris, as saying the “
settlement will ensure that everyone who wants to return to work has that right.
Our information is that this claim is absolutely false, as the strikers have NOT won the right to return to their jobs. Instead the T&G have negotiated a shameful agreement under which Skychef have agreed to pay £2 million compensation, to be divided among 3 categories of workers, thus ensuring a fight among the workers about who gets what, rather than a united struggle against the employers.
This is the latest example of the union leadership simply acting as an agency for negotiating redundancy terms rather than protecting their members’ jobs and making collective representation on their behalf.
Further, it is our information that 47 of the strikers are refusing to accept this settlement. These 47 have been threatened by the union that if they do not accept it they will get no union support, no strike pay and no legal representation in any possible tribunal proceedings.
As to the methods used by the T&G leadership to secure the agreement of a bare majority of the strikers to this agreement, these were nothing short of fraudulent, verging on blackmail. Every class-conscious worker, every trade unionist, every socialist, ought to get in touch with these workers, give them all possible assistance and expose the disgraceful conduct of the T&G leadership.