Socialist Worker

Thurrock council workers take to picket lines over pay cuts

by Isabel Ringrose
Issue No. 2750

Around 100 workers took to the picket lines on Tuesday

Around 100 workers took to the picket lines on Tuesday (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Council workers in Thurrock, Essex, launched 18 days of strikes on Tuesday against bosses’ plans to “brutally cut their pay and conditions”.

The Tory-run council wants to slash highway maintenance, refuse and street cleaning workers’ pay. On Tuesday morning around 100 Unite union members took to the picket lines. One striker said, “We’re happy to be standing up for ourselves.

“We’re fighting against cuts that will leave us worse off every month and nobody here is really willing to back down.”

Strikers used a sound system to make it loud and clear that they’re not going anywhere until their demands are met. The loud and lively picket had support from lorries which hooted their horns in solidarity.

Pickets used whistles, horns and flags to make the picket as vibrant as possible.

Bin collections were carried out up until 9am, meaning only half of the regular collections are taking place.

Unsocial 

Bosses also want to cut payments for working unsocial hours, overtime, night shifts and bank holidays.

Unite union regional officer Michelle Cook said the union “will not accept these proposals to slash the pay of these council heroes”. “They have provided essential services to the residents of Thurrock throughout this pandemic,” she said.

“The council appears to be prepared to disrupt its residents' key services and attack its employees' conditions.”

Some 90 percent of workers voted for strikes with a huge turnout of around 70 percent turnout—and this result clearly bolstered confidence.

Every trade unionist should get behind the Thurrock council workers’ fight.

Donations to the strike fund to S/C 60-83-01, A/N 20216557, Name: Unite 1/1152. Messages of solidarity to [email protected] Follow Justice For Refuse Workers & Cleansers on Facebook. Sign the 

bit.ly/ThurrockSupport


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