Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 2858

RCN nurses strike in Wales + Westminster wardens win + Merton and Sutton battle

Pay fights at a range of employers
Issue 2858
RCN strike Wales. Group of strikers with RCN union ;placards

Striking in Wrecsam/Wrexham on Tuesday

Nurses in the RCN union in Wales have struck after rejecting the Welsh government’s latest pay offer.

The action was planned for Tuesday and Wednesday this week and then 12 and 13 July, after nurses voted 53 percent to 47 percent against the deal

Strikes are taking place in health boards at Betsi Cadwaladr University, Cardiff and Vale University. Cwm Taf Morgannwg University. Hywel Dda University, Swansea Bay University, Powys Teaching Local Health and Velindre University NHS Trust.

Unfortunately, most of the other unions have accepted the below-inflation offer. But RCN members rightly want to fight on.

The union says, “This pay deal does not go far enough to reward nursing staff fairly and support them with the spiralling cost of living.” Another statutory industrial action ballot in Wales will open on 3 July.

RCN members in England are voting on whether to strike again over an even worse offer than the Welsh one.

Rank and file members have to fight to build the biggest possible Yes vote for action and the highest turnout to beat the anti-union law thresholds. Unless they do, RCN leaders will end the dispute.

Campaigning and creating local networks in every hospital are crucial to taking forward the struggle.

The NHS Workers Say No group has called a day of action for Friday this week

  • For day of action details go here 
  • For RCN picket details go here

Pay win for coronation strikers

Parking wardens in Westminster, who struck during the coronation, have won a pay rise of 19 percent over two years.

The GMB union members, employed by the council’s contractor NSL, have accepted a pay deal which will see their wages rise by 15 percent now to a minimum of £14.50 per hour.

A further rise will follow next April to £15 per hour or to match inflation, whichever is higher, meaning a total pay rise of at least 19 percent.

The workers struck for three days in May and were due to walk out again this week.

Alex Etches, GMB organiser said,  “After only three days of strikes, they have forced the company to comply with their demands.

“Let this be a lesson to all the profiteers draining the life out of our members and local councils—your days of excess are over.”

Battle joined in Merton and Sutton

Outsourced park workers in the south London boroughs of Merton and Sutton struck for 48 hours last week. It was in response to an insulting pay offer of just 2.5 percent.

The GMB union members are employed by the multinational Idverde which took over the contract in 2017, after the Labour-run council outsourced it.

Since then, new starters have been on a different contract with worse conditions. Staff turnover – has been so high, that already more than half the staff are on the new starters’ contract.

The Idverde contract is extraordinary. The council offered it to them for 24 years (renewable at eight- year intervals). The Tories on Merton council—who have lots of experience of outsourcing, usually with very poor results—actually opposed it.

Union membership has shot up over the last year, from 20 to 70, out of a workforce of 100.

Ben Windsor

Low paid revolt with UVW union

Some 145 low- paid and migrant cleaners, carers and concierge workers, in the UVW union, will walk out simultaneously on 13, 15 and 20 June to demand dignity, equality and respect.

The seven workplaces involved include Amazon, publishers Ogilvy, the London School of Economics, Streatham and Clapham High School, the Department for Education, Sage Nursing home and the West End Quays luxury flats.

Transport fightbacks

Arriva bus drivers in north London are scheduled to walk out on 20, 21, 27 and 28 June.

Strikes planned for last year were called off as the Unite union accepted an 11 percent increase and 10 percent back pay for 2,000 drivers.

The deal was secured after the workers threatened all-out strikes.

Workers should now build the strikes as big as possible while pressuring Unite officials to escalate action to indefinite action.

  • Manchester’s tram services are set to shut down as workers prepare for planned pay strikes on Saturday and Sunday.

Over 600 workers—who are members of the Unite union—voted 95 percent for strikes on an 84 percent turnout. Metrolink bosses have offered just a 5 percent pay rise—over a 15-month period.

Sign up for our daily email update ‘Breakfast in Red’

Latest News

Make a donation to Socialist Worker

Help fund the resistance