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Industrial round-up: Hundreds show solidarity with Sudan

Protesters denounce counter-revolutionary military groups that have plunged Sudan into a murderous civil war
Issue 2908
Protesters at the Sudan solidarity protest in London on Saturday (Picture: Charlie Kimber)

Protesters at the Sudan solidarity protest in London last Saturday (Picture: Charlie Kimber)

Hundreds of Sudanese protesters and their supporters marched in London last Saturday on the fifth anniversary of the massacres carried out by state forces against pro-democracy protesters.

They denounced the feuding counter-revolutionary military groups that have plunged Sudan into a murderous civil war.

“I refuse to choose between the RSF militia and the regular state army led by general Burhan,” said protester Jamila.

“The revolution that swept away dictator Omar al-Bashir in 2019 showed the way forward.”

Marchers chanted, “No militia or Burhan, peace and justice for Sudan.” In Cardiff, Sudanese revolution supporters joined a pro-Palestine march.

One marcher said, “Up to 1,000 people took part—really high energy, ending at the student encampment.”


Tractor plant workers are set to extend their action

Around 500 workers at the CNH Industrial tractor factory in Basildon, Essex, continue strikes over pay.

The workers have been out for nine days over three weeks and now plan to walk out again across June.

The plan is for all the strikers to be out together on a Tuesday, and for some of the workers to be called out on Wednesday and Thursday. This happened in the last round of action.

For most dates the union calls out only a few departments at a time as production is still shut down and the bosses “lay-off” the other workers.

The factory makes New Holland farming equipment. Pay talks for 2024 began last October.

Management offered a 4 percent rise based on the CPI inflation rate in January 2024, rather than as an average for the whole previous year.

Bosses want the 2025 pay rise to be based just on December 2024. Management and the workforce’s union, Unite, agreed in 2022 to increase pay calculated by the average rate of inflation over the year.

The workers estimate that they make 73 tractors a day— which can cost, on average, between £100,000 and £200,000 each.

That means the company could lose up to £10 million a day when workers strike.

Unite should ramp up the pressure on the multi-billion pound company—and that means indefinite strikes until the workers win.


Strike is solid in Barnet

Mental health social workers in Barnet hit 52 days of strikes on Monday this week.

They are fighting their strike-breaking north London authority over a proper retention and recruitment payment.

Workers are presently leaving and the service is declining because of low pay.

On the pickets the strikers chanted, “What’s disgusting? Unison busting.” They walked out for 27 days between September of last year and February.

This was followed two weeks of action from 15 April. They also walked out for three weeks on 13 May.

The strikers have been out continuously since then and plan to stay out until 12 July.

The Labour-led council previously tried to break the strike with agency workers, until pressure from the Unison union branch forced the agency company to pull out.

But the council hasn’t stopped its strike-breaking. It wants agency Imperium Solutions to cover the strikers’ roles permanently.

Escalated action by other council workers, and continued pressure from Unison nationally to support the strikers, is the way to win.


Strikes take Avanti caterers off the rails

Catering workers on Avanti West Coast rail were set to strike on Friday this week.

RMT union members are fighting over the imposition of harsh new rosters, changes to shift patterns, job cuts and enforced overtime.

Contracted out workers on Eurostar rail struck from Wednesday to Friday last week. RMT union members working for Rail Gourmet walked out over pay.


Refuse workers vote in Hampshire

Refuse workers at Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole council in Hampshire are balloting because bosses are keeping information about their jobs from them.

The council has yet to tell the workers about what a new revaluation of their job role would mean.

Workers say they have been expected to accept a proposal they know nothing about.

The strike ballot opened on Wednesday of last week. If workers vote to strike they could take action in early July.


Strike threat wins cleaners a pay rise

The threat of strikes has won a pay rise for cleaning workers in south London.

Members of the UVW union at Blackheath Prep school won a 15 percent pay rise, full sick pay and improved working conditions after they threatened to strike.

The cleaners are migrant workers from the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Spain, and Colombia. They unanimously voted to strike in March.


Nuclear workers in a strike over pay

Over 500 Unite union members employed by Nuclear Restoration Services Limited (NRS) are set for a 24-hour strike on 19 June. They also walked out last Wednesday.

An overtime ban and an end to working voluntary appointments began on Saturday last week to 18 June, and 20 to 30 June.

Unite says the NRS offer should be closer to 13.5 percent as this was the RPI inflation level at March 2023.


Tanker drivers fuel strikes this week

Oxalis tanker drivers supplying forecourts and aviation fuel across North West England and the Scottish Borders were set to strike from Thursday to Saturday this week.

Around 50 Stanlow-based drivers are angry that their pay offer is much lower than colleagues.

Oxalis drivers in Thurrock and Birmingham have been offered £2 an hour more than the Stanlow drivers.

They are also set to strike next Thursday to Saturday.

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