Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Now is the summer of our discontent

Sorry, more bad Shakespear. I do read other authors. But it struck me that the news that there is a strike underway at carbon-black maker Cabot in the US, was the third I'd heard about in the last week. Not counting the wood-burning pot-boiler in Finland. One other at Tessenderlo, Belgium a one-day stoppage, on 10 June. Another 24-hour protest at BASF's Feleuy, Belgium plant over restructuring.
The reasons are complex, but workers in Europe are increasingly worried about job security and see profitability rising in a number of sectors. The US workers at Cabot Supermetals have been negotiating since 31 March and are currently without formal contracts of employment.

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