Socialist Worker

Drivers can win in Barking

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2456

Refuse lorry drivers in Barking and Dagenham, east London, began an eight- day strike last Saturday.

The GMB union members had already struck for 27 days since March. 

They are fighting bosses’ plans to slash their pay by £1,000 a year and attacks on their union. 

Workers have also raised serious health and safety concerns. Bosses want to halve the “pre start” time, when drivers check their vehicles, to 15 minutes.

Jacob told Socialist Worker, “Management aren’t negotiating. But we’re determined to keep fighting.”

A few workers have gone back to work. But Jacob said, “I could never cross a picket line. You’ve got to stick together—that’s what a union is all about.”

Solidarity can win this dispute. Unison and Unite members previously refused to cross a picket line.

This attack is part of the broader assault on local services—other council workers should walk out in support. 

Every trade unionist must build solidarity for this dispute.

Workers’ names have been changed. Send messages of solidarity to gmb@gmbbarkingb10.org.uk

If you enjoy Socialist Worker, please consider giving to our annual appeal to make sure we can maintain and develop our online and print versions of Socialist Worker. Go here for details and to donate.

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.