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Peter Hunt

Goodyear: Craigavon sit-in

(October 1977)

From Militant [UK], No. 379, 28 October 1977.
Transcribed by Iain Dalton.
Marked up by Ciaran Crossey.

Twelve hundred workers, members of the Amalgamated Transport Workers Union, occupied the Goodyear plant in Craigavon on Wednesday 26th October.

This is the third factory occupation in two weeks in Northern Ireland, following sit-ins at Tyrone Crystal, Dungannon, and Container Refurbishing Ltd in Newry.

One the 25th, all 1,200 Goodyear production workers struck over the suspension of a shop steward who had been suspended for refusing to transfer from the day shift to night shift. This was on union instructions as part of a campaign of non-co-operation arising from a productivity dispute.

The day shift responded to the suspension by walking out. Production workers on the other two shifts also refused to work.

On Wednesday the shop steward again reported for work with the rest of the day shift and was again suspended. This time, the workers answered, not by walking out, but by occupying the factory, locking out management and staff.

As we go to press, the situation hangs in the balance. The workers are in control of the factory, but services are being cut off, and management have caked on both the police and the army to reopen the factory.

Messages of support should be sent to: Goodyear Shop Stewards, c/o Labour and Trade Union Co-ordinating Group, 12–18 Donegal Street, Belfast.

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