The Coventry bin workers’ strike remains solid, despite the Labour council’s attacks. Solidarity money is pouring into the dispute, helping strikers to stay determined in their fight.
The strikers’ Unite union estimates that the council’s attempt to break the strike through scabbing operations will cost the council up to £250,000 a week.
In a positive sign, one agency has begun to pull staff from the work after pressure from the union. Now the strikers are launching a mass leafleting campaign against the council.
Haydn Jones, union convenor for Coventry council HGV2 drivers said, “The solidarity that has been shown to us from all trade unionists—not just from Unite—has been overwhelming.
“Once we’ve won our issue, we will support their picket lines and show how we have won.
“Our message is, ‘Do not be afraid to strike. The support you will get will overwhelm you.’ The active support on the picket line gives us courage to continue our fight.”
Strikers and stewards are aware of the threat from the scab labour force.
But they say no more than ten trucks are leaving the Tom White Waste depot. This a firm wholly-owned by the council that is supplying scabs. The council depot normally has 40 trucks a day.
The council’s bin collectors are refusing to work with the Tom White drivers and have instead been moved onto different jobs.
As one striker said, “With the fantastic solidarity we can afford to stay out for longer than the council can afford to pay for this strike breaking operation”.
While Unite is pushing to increase the strike’s profile, solidarity from rank and file trade unionists shows the mood for a fight over pay.The best way to win the dispute is to spread it within the council workforce and to hold large demonstrations in support of the strike.
This would include strikes from drivers at Tom White Waste, other Unite members and trade unionists in the council.
Online rally to support the strikers Wednesday 9 February, 6.30pm. Go to bit.ly/CovBins
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