AEEU toolmakers from the Dagenham and Enfield toolroom have recently been on strike over the right to a craft allowance. The day of strike action held on the 16th September to coincide with the union pay presentation to Ford management took place the day after Sir Ken Jackson, the General Secretary of the AEEU, announced to the press his vision of a strike free Britain.

When questioned about the dispute he refused to comment. The dispute, involving 350 toolmakers from the Dagenham toolroom and 16 from the Enfield plant toolroom, centres around the refusal of the company to make allowances available to other grade 5 workers in production areas. These allowances, such as Integrated manufacturing team allowance, electronics allowance, group leader allowance and lineworkers allowance mean that a mechanical/electrical craftsman could receive an extra 25% in wages to that of the toolmaker craftsman in a non production area.

The toolmakers demand is for the company to recognise a toolmakers >allowance which could only be introduced as part of the annual pay >negotiations. The company's response to the Ford hourly pay claim is due on October 14th with more negotiations from November 9th to the 11th and further strike action is planned to coincide with the talks.

Ford workers as a whole will be looking for a substantial increase in pay in order to restore their position in the motor industry pay league as well as a 2 hour reduction in the working week and a 30 year and out improvement to the pensions to reflect the increasingly strenuous work imposed through lean production techniques and speed ups. Ford's UK workforce has declined by 4.5% yet output per head has grown by 5.7% over the last two years. This is measured by a growth in operating profit of 23% from 1997 to 1998. All of these factors will mean that Ford workers will be preparing to take on the company if their aspirations are not met.

Quelle: A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E: