Socialist Worker

Strike


Postal Workers: Strike ballot on the way

24 November 2001
Around 160,000 postal workers will soon start a strike ballot over pay. The CWU union's deputy general secretary, John Keggie, announced the move at an anti-privatisation rally in Edinburgh on Saturday. Basic starting pay for a delivery postal worker is as little as £145.66 per week before tax. The top basic pay is £242.76 before tax outside London. Even with the maximum inner London allowances, the basic pay is a maximum of £291.58 a week before tax.

Strikes go centre stage

24 November 2001
Backstage staff at the Royal Shakespeare Company, based in London, have voted to take strike action at Christmas. The workers, members of the BECTU union, voted by nine to one in favour of strikes.

'The government haven't broken us'

24 November 2001
The national ballot of 75,000 job centre and Benefits Agency workers in the PCS union was delayed last week due to technical difficulties. The new ballot will now start on Wednesday of this week, ending on Monday 3 December. The 75,000 workers are being balloted to join a strike by 2,500 civil servants across Britain.

Italy: Mass protest for pay and against the war

24 November 2001
About 250,000 striking engineers took part in a national demonstration in Rome, Italy, last week. Strike action shut dozens of major workplaces up and down the country. Officially, the strike was over a £10 a month pay increase, but in the highly politicised atmosphere of Italy it was about much more than getting a pay rise in line with inflation.

Harry Ramsden strike

24 November 2001
Workers at the world's biggest fish and chip shop chain, Harry Ramsden's, went on an eight-hour strike two weeks ago for better pay and conditions. The strike involved 40 workers at Harry Ramsden's in Guiseley, near Bradford. The workers are members of the TGWU union. They held a lively picket line outside the restaurant holding placards saying, "We want a batter contract."

British Energy

17 November 2001
Workers at British Energy are scheduled to take strike action on Monday 19 November, after voting overwhelmingly for action over pay. If the strike action goes ahead, it will hit Britain's biggest nuclear power producer.

Councils

17 November 2001
Council workers in Bradford are set to strike for half a day on Wednesday of this week. The strike comes after council workers, members of the UNISON union, voted to strike by 64.5 percent. Some 78.5 percent voted yes for action short of strike action.

Buses

17 November 2001
Stagecoach bus workers in the north east of England held another one-day strike on Monday of this week to force the company to increase their pay. The workers in Teesside, Hartlepool and Darlington are due to be joined by fellow workers in the AEEU union who maintain the buses.

Gas

17 November 2001
Hundreds took part in the first ever strike by workers in the private gas company Transco on Wednesday of last week. Around 650 workers are involved in the dispute over pay.

Medical secretaries

17 November 2001
"We've beaten the bosses twice!" That was the reaction of medical secretaries in Glasgow this week as their indefinite strike action forced management to back down for the second time. The 300 medical secretaries, all low paid women workers, have shown how determined and all-out action can win. Last month, after just two days of indefinite strike action, the workers had appeared to win a victory when bosses struck a deal that conceded to their demands to be put on a higher grade.

In brief: Will egg firm crack?

17 November 2001
Workers who make egg cartons for the Omni-Pac company in Great Yarmouth staged their second one-day strike on Wednesday of last week. The 114 workers, members of the TGWU union, are striking against the imposition of new contracts which mean they could lose up to £40 a week.

Postal workers: Strike beats boss who bullied woman

17 November 2001
East London postal workers showed last week how to deal with managers who bully women workers. They struck in large numbers and forced a humiliating climbdown by the bosses. Up to 2,000 workers struck unofficially on Tuesday of last week in solidarity with workers on strike at South Woodford. At that office a woman worker had been reduced to tears by the verbal assault of a manager.

Back this strike - Claimants and workers unite

17 November 2001
Over 75,000 workers in job centres and benefit offices are being balloted to join a strike by 2,500 fellow workers across the country. It could be the biggest challenge from public sector workers that New Labour has faced since 1997.

Bus workers

10 November 2001
Anger is bubbling among Stagecoach bus workers, who face long hours and low pay while the company reported an operating profit of £197.8 million earlier this year. Over 100 Stagecoach workers in Hastings went on a one-day strike on Friday of last week to fight a management-imposed 3 percent pay rise. The workers, members of the TGWU union, had demanded a 10 percent rise and a reduction in shift hours.

Medical secretaries: Back on all-out action

10 November 2001
Furious medical secretaries in Glasgow have walked out again on indefinite strike action after management reneged on their recent offer. The 300 secretaries, all low paid women workers, had unanimously voted to suspend their strike two weeks ago.

UNISON United Left

10 November 2001
Up to 150 members of the UNISON public sector workers' union met in Manchester last weekend to launch UNISON United Left. The organisation brings together all those on the left within the union, and represents a significant step forward. There were speakers from Sefton, where union members have won a victory in a fight over care home closures, and from the Glasgow medical secretaries' strike.

Postal workers: Striking back at harassment

10 November 2001
Postal workers across much of east London poured out in an angry unofficial strike on Tuesday. By midday workers at the giant EDO mail centre in Whitechapel, and at offices in Bethnal Green, Hackney, Homerton, Bow, Clapton, Poplar and elsewhere, were out in a brilliant act of solidarity with strikers at South Woodford.

Taking on Blair's strikebreaking

10 November 2001
Strikers in the government's new Pathfinder job centre and Benefits Agency offices are continuing their determined action. New Labour has launched attempts at strikebreaking and union busting. Around 2,500 civil servants in the PCS union are on all-out strike against the government's plans to remove screens in the new amalgamated offices. Screens are important for staff supplying benefits because of the increased harshness of the government's system.

DEFRA

03 November 2001
THE PAY dispute in DEFRA, the former ministry of agriculture, entered its tenth week at the beginning of this week. A rolling programme of regional strike action, an overtime ban and a work to rule are starting to break the resolve of management.

Scottish Power: Unions stop action again

03 November 2001
Strike action by workers at Scottish Power and Manweb has been postponed again after management made a new offer. This was due to be put to a meeting of stewards from the AEEU, GMB, and TGWU unions on Thursday of this week.

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