Sit-in rattles Mersey bin bosses
BIN WORKERS in Liverpool staged a sit-in at their depot on Monday, furious at the way they were being treated by bosses. The 250 workers at the Fazakerley depot work for the private firm Onyx, which has the contract for the city's rubbish collection. Their bosses had made a cock-up and paid the workers double pay at Christmas. Workers had themselves pointed this mistake out to the company and understood that they would pay it back in instalments.
But then they found out that bosses wanted to grab all the money at once, leaving many workers desperately short this month. 'We played fair, we told them their mistake and then they treat us with contempt,' one worker told Socialist Worker during Monday's sit-in. Talks were taking place as Socialist Worker went to press.
STRIKES BY library workers in Hackney, east London, have won concessions from the vicious Labour council. For the past nine Saturdays library workers have struck. Their action was to win back enhanced pay for working Saturdays which the council had cut. This week the council offered a deal whereby the pay would be restored temporarily, the strikes would end and talks would take place to seek a long term solution.
Strikers were to meet on Friday to decide their response. They should be wary of what the council really wants and strike unless they get their pay back permanently. After several setbacks in the last year, the strikes have given a boost to all council workers.
However, the council wants to close Clapton library. This needs to be fought. The union plans a 'battle bus' tour of the borough on Saturday-details from 020 8356 4071.
WORKERS IN part of Lambeth council's housing department struck for a day last week to defend a workmate who they say has been victimised. Alex Owolade is an activist in the black community in the south London borough and a shop steward in the Unison union.
He was sacked over a charge against him that arose out of his efforts as a shop steward to defend two black women workers in disciplinary cases. Management proceeded with this charge after Alex helped organise a demonstration demanding justice for Derek Bennett, a black man shot by police in south London last year.
Some 70 people joined a rally during last week's strike and unless management reinstate Alex then more and wider action is planned.
More information: Defend Alex Owolade Campaign, PO Box 27497, London SW9 7HU.