Saturday, 14 March 2015

Fruit Juice Strikes in Bridgewater

UNITE the Union demonstrators have been a familiar sight at the Express Park roundabout at the north end of the Bristol Rd in Bridgwater for months now.  This week's demo was their seventh 36-hour strike protest against plans by Refresco-Gerber to radically worsen pay and conditions at the factory, which produces household-name fruit juices.

At least three more stoppages have been planned for the next two weeks, and yesterday local Unite the Union officer Roy Winter said:
'Our members contribute their working lives to this factory, which makes a handsome profit for Refresco-Gerber.  Unfortunately, under new owners whose HQ is now in Rotterdam, those profits are not enough: the plan is to double or treble them at the expense of Unite members sick pay, shift allowances, pay protection. We are talking here of corporate greed, nothing more or less.  Refresco-Gerber is making a bad mistake. There has been a recognised union organisation here for nearly fifty years: Unite the Union will not walk away from this dispute until the company agree an acceptable settlement.'

Two mass meetings will be held on the 16th & 17th March to inform Unite members involved in the dispute of the latest negotiations.

Dave Chapple, Secretary of Bridgwater Trades Union Council, has said:
'This is a David and Goliath struggle against a vicious multi-national company going all out to weaken or smash trade union organisation.'
Future 36-hour strikes are set for Wednesday /Thursday the 18th/19th March, 0645am to 1900pm; Tuesday/Wednesday 24th/25th March, 0645am to 1900pm; Wednesday/Thursday 1st /2nd April, 0645am to 1900pm. Trades unionists are welcome at picket lines, key times are 7am/7pm.

For further information please contact Roy Winter on 07720 705078

Dave Chapple,
Bridgwater Trades Union Council

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