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Step up pressure to win in Coventry strike battle + round-up

The Labour council opposes workers' rights
Issue 2806

 

A march, part of Coventry strike by bin workers with a large banner "Labour councillors stop union busting"

Coventry strikers are bitterly angry with the Labour council

Formal talks between Coventry council and Unite union reps and officials have started over the long‑running HGV2 drivers’ strike.

The strike committee is insistent that any settlement must address the original pay questions and also include the withdrawal of disciplinary action against their deputy convenor Pete Randle. 

Local activists have held a series of protests outside any business with any connection to Tom White Waste (TWW) management or which uses the company for refuse collection. 

TWW, wholly-owned by the Labour-led council, is organising scabbing to undermine the strike.

These protests have blocked scab trucks leaving TWW for at least 90 minutes on a number of days. Despite the talks, HGV2 drivers began voting this week to extend the strike by a further 12 weeks. 

Unite must keep the pressure on. 

This means, for example, calling for and building for a national solidarity demonstration on the Coventry picket line. It also means building the protests outside Tom White Waste.  

It would be good if the union organised large numbers of strikers themselves to do this so that no individual is picked on.

Donations are still needed to back one of the longest-running Unite disputes in local government. 

  • Donations to Unity trust Bank, Unite WM/7116Coventry Local Government, Account Number 20302665, Sort Code 60-83-01 Messages of support to [email protected].   

A Unite union member


Reinforcements possible for Hackney council strike

More workers could join strikes at Hackney council in east London, for a 10 percent pay rise. 

The Unite union is set to ballot 70 workers in the parking services department, which was taken back into the council in April.

They will be asked to join action already taken by around 200 workers in refuse, building services and disability transport services sections. Unite was also set to hold a rally outside Hackney town hall on Wednesday this week and a lobby of the council’s AGM that evening.  

Unite officers are working with local trade unionists and community activists in the relaunched Hackney Fightback. This aims to build solidarity across the borough.

Alan Gibson


Pay victory in Oxford

Warehouse strikes at the Oxford Mini plant have ended after workers employed by logistics firm Rudolph & Hellman secured a pay deal that is said to be worth 21 percent over two years.

Around 225 workers, made up of warehouse staff and shunter drivers handling components for the factory, will receive a 19 per cent pay rise over two years. 

In addition, the workers will receive a lump sum worth 2 percent, bringing the total increase to 21 percent—worth around £4,000 per year for a dayshift worker. 

The deal also includes increases to overtime rates and more working time protections.

They won this inflation‑matching deal because of united action and a readiness to keep fighting for as long as it took.


Social work is political

The Social Work Action Network conference took place last weekend in Liverpool attended by more than 200 social work professionals with 300 hundred more on-line. 

The central theme was that given the levels of poverty, racism and sexism flowing from the government, social work must challenge these aspects of oppression. 

Social work is not a neutral profession, it is necessarily drawn into the political. The professional response has to be to organise in the workplace, in the community and in the trade unions.

The conference made clear its support of Stand Up To Racism and the Stop the War Coalition and urged attendees to support the TUC demonstration in London on 18 June. 

Steve Anderson


Strikes in the pipeline at gas firm Cadent

Thousands of workers for gas company Cadent are set to strike on Monday and Tuesday of next week.

Workers in the GMB union are striking after being offered a 2 percent pay increase in 2021 and a 4 percent pay increase this year.

Bosses were quick to celebrate that they offer their workers a £10 an hour minimum wage, but this is nothing with inflation running so high.


 

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