Socialist Worker


Civil service

11 August 2001
THE CIVIL servants' PCS union is balloting over 300 members for all-out strike action in the Brent and Streatham Jobcentre Plus Pathfinder pilots. The mood is excellent, with over 100 members at an evening rally last week headed by general secretary elect Mark Serwotka and Brian Butterworth from Brent UNISON.


11 August 2001
SOME 300 bus workers in Hampshire employed by multinational transport firm First Group have held two days of strike action in a dispute over pay. Drivers and engineers, members of the TGWU union, went on strike last Friday and Monday after being offered an 18 pence an hour rise.

Medical secretaries

11 August 2001
AROUND 300 medical secretaries across the north of Glasgow planned to strike for three days this week. The action follows a stunning 91.3 percent vote for strikes in a ballot. The workers' UNISON union branch has been pursuing a regrading claim for all medical secretaries for 14 months.

Old people's homes

11 August 2001
WORKERS ON Merseyside are raising money for the Sefton council workers fighting to save services for the elderly and disabled. Some 900 social services workers in Sefton council have held six days of strike action to stop the closure of six facilities.

Hackney council: £50 million cuts in next three years

10 March 2001
Thousands of council workers in Hackney, east London, were to strike this week against cuts, redundancies and worse conditions. The action was planned for Wednesday, the local budget day as well as Gordon Brown's.

Rolls-Royce Aerospace: Strike action is still rolling

03 March 2001
Rolls Royce workers at Ansty in the West Midlands stepped up their fight against up to 1,300 job cuts with a second round of strike action on Monday of this week. Cars tailed back for miles from both gates as workers in the MSF and GMB unions caused massive disruption to the site. "We're having a serious effect," one engineer told Socialist Worker. The strike by 500 workers, mainly skilled engineers and office workers, has been solid.

Council workers

03 March 2001
Unison union members in Knowsley council, Merseyside, were due to take their third round of strike action on Thursday of this week. They have had overwhelming support for action against an increase in the working week for white collar workers from 35 to 37 hours.

Solid strike at Vauxhall: Now what next?

03 March 2001
Vauxhall workers struck for the day last week against the closure of the Luton plant by giant US multinational General Motors. Luton strikers were joined by workers at the Ellesmere Port plant who also had a solid one-day strike. Socialists, the media, two local Labour MPs and the regional TGWU official swelled the small number of pickets at Luton. Workers argued, "You won't have a job if you keep on doing what management tell you to do!" with workers who crossed the picket lines, mainly MSF members who voted against action.

Prepare for all out postal war

03 March 2001
"Next time there's an unofficial strike in the post we will sack those who have led it and encouraged it." That is what Post Office bosses warned leaders of the CWU union at the end of last week.

Civil servants

24 February 2001
Fifty workers at the Museum of London struck on Friday of last week. The official half-day action was in protest at a below inflation pay deal. The strike was 95 percent solid. Despite threats of legal action by management the protests outside the museum swelled to 100, with archaeologists and specialists who applauded the strikers. The strike marked the beginning of a campaign by the IPMS union across the heritage sector against low pay.

Fight the sell-off of our services

24 February 2001
A swathe of privatisation proposals across the West Midlands have united anti-privatisation campaigners in a determined battle. Dudley Group of Hospitals is at the centre of the plans. Health workers are now on strike to fight the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) scheme that means axing staff, privatising jobs and slashing beds.

Rolling again

24 February 2001
Workers at the Rolls Royce aerospace plant in Ansty, near Coventry, are to strike for the day next Monday. Skilled engineers at the plant have already taken one day's solid strike action against the company's plan to sack over 1,000 workers and to move work to Bristol and Canada. "The company has not shifted at all," says an MSF rep at the plant. "Everyone is solidly behind more strike action."

Vauxhall: 'It's right to strike'

24 February 2001
Workers at Vauxhall motors were to strike on Thursday of this week. They planned to hit back at General Motors, one of the world's biggest corporations. GM wants to close down its Vauxhall motors plant in Luton and sack 2,000 workers.

Glasgow airport

24 February 2001
Workers in the GMB union at Glasgow airport are to be balloted over strike action in protest over the sacking of a union representative. GMB Scottish secretary Robert Parker said, "GMB Scotland believes that British Airways (BA) set up our member. "BA needs to be aware that we will take whatever action to reinstate the sacked union rep."


24 February 2001
Up to 16,000 engineers working for ADT, Britain's largest fire and security company, have this week voted to suspend their strike action. The workers have been taking a series of four-day strikes over a pay claim. The strikes have disrupted ADT's out of hours service, and managers have been forced to staff local offices.

Councils: Spread the resistance

24 February 2001
All UNISON members at Kirklees council elderly people's homes went on strike on Monday of this week. The strikers are cooks, cleaners and care workers in 15 residential care homes for elderly people.

Oxford post: Proud Victory

17 February 2001
Our strike has ended in victory after a week of unofficial action. It has been a revelation for all of us. It began over a small incident but quickly escalated to being about intimidation, harassment and victimisation. Royal Mail changed tactics for this strike. Once it started they were out to sack reps, to break the union in Oxford as an example to elsewhere. But we beat the bastards. We survived because of local and national solidarity.

Don't throw away this chance to win

17 February 2001
Last week's strike on London Underground struck a powerful blow to New Labour's privatisation scheme. But there is now a danger that a version of John Prescott's plan to hand the tube to private contractors could still go ahead after union leaders called off strikes planned for this week and next.

Rolls in action

17 February 2001
Pickets were out in force last Friday in Ansty near Coventry as workers struck for a day at plans by the Rolls-Royce aerospace company to axe 1,300 jobs. "A one-day strike won't force the company to back down, but it's our first strike for 20 years," says one worker. "Most of us have never experienced a strike before, let alone a picket line. We are ready to step up the action."

Rolls-Royce workers are not rolling over to globalisation

10 February 2001
"We will be on the picket lines from 6.30am on Friday. Rolls-Royce will not listen to us. We don't have any choice but to strike."

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