AS THE strike at William Cook’s foundry in Sheffield enters its tenth week, building solidarity and financial support is key. A number of the strikers have been sent back to work by the strike committee to prevent their immediate sacking. The remaining strikers’ tribunals are not until November.
But the lessons of the dispute are not being lost on the strikers. “One of our biggest issues turning away deliveries at the picket line is that there are still AEEU members working on the site,” says a striker.
“It is difficult to ask other people not to cross when some of our own people are still working. We should have called them out sooner.” “The problem here is the law,” says another.
“We should have acted illegally from the beginning, calling all foundries and plants out simultaneously and not letting Andrew Cook, the boss, have the time to organise against us. We should have done what the postal workers did and all walked out together.”
AEEU UNION stewards in the test areas of Rolls Royce in Bristol responded immediately to their union general secretary, Sir Ken Jackson, calling for a ban on strikes in the public sector last week. They issued a petition condemning his comments and the government’s drive for privatisation. Over 100 workers signed the petition within a few days. AEEU members can get it from the AEEU test areas stewards committee.
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Reports from disputes around Britain
Security services were involved