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8 December 2021

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Panasonic workers break company pay freeze

Panasonic picket 22 November, photo Dave Reid

Panasonic picket 22 November, photo Dave Reid   (Click to enlarge)

Dave Reid, Socialist Party Wales

Panasonic workers at Pentwyn in Cardiff have won a significant victory against the multinational giant. The company has caved in and increased its pay offer from zero to 5.5% over two years, plus a £300 bonus. The fourth day of strike action has been suspended while the offer is put to the members.

This represents yet another victory in Wales by workers taking determined strike action to try and get a decent pay rise in the face of rising inflation. Stagecoach bus drivers in Gwent recently won a 10.5% pay rise, and Arriva drivers in North Wales have won £12 an hour.

Panasonic had originally offered a 1% rise - in effect a pay cut. But when this was rejected by the workforce the company withdrew even this miserly offer. GMB members began a series of four one-day strikes on 15 November. Clearly the strike was having a big effect on production, with reports of thousands of pounds worth of production lost or even wasted by agency workers sent across picket lines.

The success of the strike was even more significant because not all the workers took strike action. But those who came out on strike and stood on the picket lines showed incredible resolve and determination which, clearly, the company realised would not be broken, despite a culture of management bullying. The strikers included a number of east European workers.

While the 5.5% hardly keeps pace with the rate of inflation, it marks a big increase on the company's original offer and represents a spectacular victory for workers in Panasonic after years of plant closures, job losses and declining real pay.

They have turned the tide and have a real opportunity to strengthen union organisation throughout the plant.

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In The Socialist 8 December 2021:


Unite to fight for pay and NHS we deserve

Government social care plans: Where is the money?

Uni staff and students must unite to end marketisation and for free education

Covid news in brief

What we think

Workers' politics needed to exploit Tory scandal and splits

People's Budgets

Building People's Budgets: An alternative to Tory and Labour cuts

International news

Chile presidential election - stop the far-right candidate

Unprecedented floods in British Columbia

Wider working-class and union struggle needed to win St Vincent nurses' strike

Defending abortion rights in the US

Workplace news

Universities strike - build the action and stand united to win

Thousands of Tesco warehouse workers to strike

Sandwell bin workers beat Serco and win pay rise

Panasonic workers break company pay freeze

Clarks strikers defeat 'fire and rehire'

Organise to win the NEU's 8% pay demand

Yorkshire Stagecoach bus workers' week-long strike

Worksop Wincanton logistics workers on strike

Newham Sixth Form College begins strike against academisation

Sheffield Just East couriers picket and march for pay rise

Napo ballots for trade dispute

Campaigns news

Affordable housing for all

Challenge cutters and evictors in Waltham Forest Council

Remembering Tony Davison

Fighting Fund: Help us reach over 50,000

Defying unjust laws - a rich history of struggle

Mail attacks tube strikers by stealing socialist's image


Film review: The Harder They Fall


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Coventry bin workers on strike, January 2022, photo by Dave Nellist

Socialist Party members joined the picket lines of striking bin workers in Coventry fighting for better pay. January 2022

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