Socialist Worker

Strike


In the front line against Labour

23 March 2002
Postal Workers could hold a national strike on Wednesday of next week. It would be about pay. Postal workers are fed up with poverty pay-a basic of just £250 a week. Many work six days a week and start at around 5.30am. The executive of the CWU postal workers' union believed it had secured agreement over pay with Royal Mail. CWU deputy general secretary John Keggie said the deal would mean £300 a week pensionable pay by October 2003.

Shorts

23 March 2002
SOME 1,100 TGWU union members at Manchester airport have voted to escalate their action against wage and holiday cuts. On Friday 22 March workers will walk out for 36 hours. This will be followed by a 96-hour strike over Easter weekend.

The biggest teachers' strike in Britain since the 1970s

23 March 2002
A strike and demonstration by over 40,000 teachers in and around London on Thursday of last week was the biggest for 30 years. It marked a turning point. "I feel we are laying to rest the ghosts of 20 years of demoralisation," said one experienced teacher as she sped by with a group of recent university graduates.

Support the fight for a living wage

16 March 2002
Over 40,000 London teachers in the NUT union were set to strike for one day on Thursday of this week. This is the first strike by London teachers since 1972. More than 1,000 teachers have joined the NUT over the last few days in order to take part in the strike. They are joining the 41,000 NUT members who have already voted to strike by nine to one.

'We can fix low pay- yes, we can'

16 March 2002
MEDICAL SECRETARIES in Sunderland were out in numbers on the picket line on Tuesday of this week. They have escalated their action to a four-day strike. The 136 women NHS workers are determined to up the pressure on their trust bosses to put them on a higher grade.

Civil servants

16 March 2002
STRIKERS FROM all over Britain lobbied the national executive meeting of the civil servants' PCS union last week. They were representing 750 people who work in the government's trial Pathfinder scheme which merges job centres and benefits offices. They have been on all-out strike since at least last October.

Bradford strike electrifies conference

16 March 2002
THE ISSUE of pay electrified the first day of the annual conference of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) held in Eastbourne last week. Successful strike action by workers at the Bradford Telegraph and Argus group of papers has been a major boost to the fight against low pay. Conference delegates greeted Sarah Walsh, a leading member of the Bradford NUJ workplace union chapel, with massive applause.

Nine to one vote for London schools strike

09 March 2002
Teachers in London have voted overwhelmingly to strike on Thursday of next week over pay. Over 40,000 members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) in London and neighbouring areas of the Home Counties voted by nine to one to strike in a ballot declared on Tuesday of this week.

'We will not be treated as low paid dogsbodies'

09 March 2002
"We're not militant, but now it's come to the crunch. We've finally had enough, and we're fighting." That's how medical secretary Susan Mann summed up the mood on an angry and lively picket line outside Sunderland Royal Hospital on Tuesday of this week. She was one of 90 low paid women health workers on the picket line at the start of their three-day strike. All of them had the same message. They are fed up of being treated like low paid dogsbodies. Medical secretaries across the north east of England have been fighting to win a higher grade and better pay.

Journalists

09 March 2002
Votes for strike action over pay will set the mood for this year's annual delegate conference of the NUJ journalists' union in Eastbourne. Four local newspaper workplace union branches have now voted for strike ballots. This is after one half-day strike brought victory for journalists at the Bradford Telegraph and Argus group.

British Telecom: It's good to walk

09 March 2002
Hundreds of BT workers have voted to strike against a plan to transfer them out of the company to a contractor and to attack their conditions, pay and pension rights. Workers in the D&DS section voted by 81 percent on an 80 percent turnout for strikes in a ballot.

Civil Servants

09 March 2002
The national strike involving tens of thousands of members of the PCS civil servants' union in job centres and benefits offices is hanging in the balance. The group executive committee, which runs the dispute, is calling for a one-day strike on Tuesday 2 April-the day the government's flagship Jobcentre Plus scheme is officially launched.

BT workers

02 March 2002
Some 377 CWU union members who work in the D&DS section of BT are being balloted to take strike action against plans to transfer them to a contractor, ComputaCentre. At a meeting of around 40 union members in London last week there was a heated exchange between the audience and a national executive member.

Civil servants

02 March 2002
The national dispute by tens of thousands of benefits office and job centre workers in the PCS civil servants' union has taken another major blow. The group executive committee, which runs the dispute and is dominated by the Left Unity group, decided on Monday of this week to recommend no action until a one-day strike for Tuesday 2 April. This is the day that New Labour's flagship Jobcentre Plus welfare scheme is officially launched.

Now battle to turn votes into strikes

02 March 2002
The mood for strikes is back. One group of workers after another are voting for action over pay, the impact of privatisation, aggressive managers and New Labour's insults. But they also face pressure from many of their own union leaders to hold back from battle. Rail workers on Arriva Northern were set to strike over pay for 48 hours on Friday and Saturday of this week.

Council workers

02 March 2002
At a packed meeting last week 300 council workers in Tower Hamlets, east London, voted unanimously to go ahead with strike action, starting with a one-day strike across the borough on Thursday of this week.

Car workers

02 March 2002
Thousands of workers at the Longbridge MG Rover car plant in Birmingham are balloting on strike action. Both the TGWU and Amicus unions have agreed to ballot their members in a fight over bosses' attempts to get workers to accept more "flexible" working arrangements.

Secretaries get fighting spirit

02 March 2002
Hundreds of medical secretaries in the north east of England are set to strike for three days from next Tuesday. The women workers are some of the lowest paid in the National Health Service. Most of them earn less than £13,000 a year. For years they have put up with low pay, working in an underfunded NHS without any reward for their work.

Historic action at Stonehenge

02 March 2002
Workers at historic tourist attractions in England are set to stage a one-day strike on Monday 11 March. Hundreds of workers will join the strikes at places such as Stonehenge and Dover Castle. The workers at English Heritage are fuming at an imposed pay award of 3.5 percent.

Airport strikers are flying high

02 March 2002
Some 800 TGWU union members from Manchester airport and their supporters marched through the centre of Manchester last Saturday during a 36-hour strike. This followed a series of lively one-hour stoppages in February. Their managers are demanding that the workers accept new contracts which cut their pay by 40 percent. They will lose their jobs if they do not.

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