Socialist Worker

Pickets celebrate their 20-0 victory

by Mike Killian and Simon Sobrero
Issue No. 1932

AROUND 130 Amicus and RMT union members at the Alstom Manchester Traincare depot in Longsight, Manchester, struck again on Friday of last week.

A driver delivering key engineering supplies was among the first to turn away from the early morning picket line, to cheers from the strikers.

Pickets turned away about 20 deliveries by midday—“20-0 to us”, as one of the strikers put it.

“Alstom have to have 42 ‘tilting’ trains ready for delivery to Virgin by mid-December, or else face a fine of £90 million—that gives us a lever,” said one of the strikers. “All we want is fair, family-friendly rosters.”

The strikers had heard that Amicus members at the Oxley maintenance depot (near Birmingham) had refused to work with 20 contractors brought in to work on trains diverted from the Longsight depot.

“We’re looking to organise a meeting for Amicus reps from all the depots,” said a rep on the picket line.

On the Friday afternoon over 100 strikers turned out for a mass meeting on the picket line. Amicus reps said management were looking for talks about the dispute, which is about rosters and Alstom’s failure to move towards a 35-hour week. Strikers were for further action “to concentrate management’s minds on the negotiations”.

Pickets were in determined mood after management turned a CCTV camera on the picket line and attempted to get the police to come down to enforce the maximum of six pickets rule.

The mood is for keeping the pressure on Alstom. The strikers were set to be out again for three days from Tuesday of this week.


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News
Sat 18 Dec 2004, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1932
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