Monday, September 6, 2010

Due to poor annual profits, the management at an English crisp factory decided to introduce new working practices. Part of the manufacturing process involved the transportation of the crisps around the factory in purpose-made metal bins. Ever since anyone could remember, the materials for the bins had been supplied by a local sheet metal manufacturer, with final construction of the bins carried out by the workers within the factory. With their neatly soldered seams, the hand crafted bins were true works of art. Now as a cost cutting measure, management made the decision to replace the expensive hand crafted metal bins with cheaper, ready-made plastic bins. Not only would material costs be reduced but also staff levels within the factory could be cut.

This proposal angered the workers within the factory. A vote was taken and strike action unanimously agreed. As part of the action and in a bid to dram up national support, a local rally was organized, with a march taking place from the factory to the rally. To lift the workers' spirits as they marched with their banners, they sang: 'Onward crisp bin solderers . . .'

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