Socialist Worker

Strike


Campaign and strike for tube and rail

20 January 2001
Railtrack bosses sent the government a blackmail note this week-"Give us £1 billion or the passengers get it." And New Labour is considering coughing up.

Wardle Storeys

20 January 2001
Workers at plastics firm Wardle Storeys in Brantham, near Manningtree in Essex, were to strike on Wednesday this week over pay. It is the first in a series of three one-day strikes. Bosses have offered a pay rise of just 2.1 percent to the 300 workers at the site. Peter Stephen, the TGWU union's regional industrial organiser, says, "Our message to the company is that our members are solid. We don't accept pay cuts."

French spirit

20 January 2001
Workers in the French port of Calais have shown exactly how to take on a multinational. Hundreds of workers at the Lu biscuit factory walked out on strike last week after the giant food multinational Danone announced it wanted to shut the plant. The workers were still out on strike this week, and a strike across Danone in France was planned for Thursday. Danone is a multinational company that produces drinks, yoghurt and other dairy products, and biscuits.

PCS: Court Action

20 January 2001
Around 2,700 members of the PCS civil servants' union who work in the Crown Prosecution Service were due to strike across England and Wales on Wednesday and Thursday over pay. Around 700 workers in the service have joined the union over the last few months.

Opel's ad strikes

20 January 2001
The internet is a curious and contradictory thing. A sign of the times in France is a useful website called lesgreves.com (strikes.com), which gives a detailed and long list of strikes taking place each day around the country. The main sponsor on last week's home page was Opel. Opel is the German subsidiary of the giant General Motors car firm. Hopefully the firm will feature in a different way in a round-up of strike reports later this month when workers across Europe join a day of action against GM.

Post: Strike for decent pay

20 January 2001
Royal Mail workers were poised to begin a national ballot over pay as Socialist Worker went to press. Union negotiators met with management for last-ditch talks on Tuesday. Unless these produced real improvements in the existing offer union leaders had pledged to start a strike vote.

Back Dudley strikers: Stop corporate takeover of NHS

20 January 2001
"The strike at Dudley hospitals is one of the longest running disputes in the history of the NHS. It shows the determination of the workers involved, and the support they are winning is extremely exciting." That is how journalist and campaigner George Monbiot described the strike by 600 ancillary workers in Dudley in the West Midlands.

Coatbridge

20 January 2001
Lecturers at Coatbridge College, members of the EIS-CLA (College Lecturers Association), were to strike on Tuesday and Thursday this week over pay. The action follows two one-day strikes before Christmas. Lecturers at the college have not received a pay rise since 1998. Coatbridge is the only college in Scotland not to have settled its lecturers' pay claim for 1999-2000.

Every worker must support Dudley strikes

13 January 2001
Solidarity is flowing in from trade unionists around the country for the strike by health workers in Dudley in the West Midlands. Trade unionists have countered the mainstream media's news blackout on the strike by raising solidarity in their workplaces. The 600 ancillary workers were set to begin a further three-week strike on Wednesday in their battle against being transferred out of the NHS under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI).

Councils

13 January 2001
Hackney council workers in east London are to strike for three days from 29 to 31 January. Urgent action is needed. The leaders of the Labour-Tory coalition that runs the east London council have agreed cuts of £50 million over the next three years. This will mean assets flogged off to private developers and more privatisation of vital services such as school transport for special needs children.

Postal workers

13 January 2001
Nearly 800 workers walked out on 24-hour unofficial strike at Royal Mail's main Nottingham depot in Beeston on Thursday of last week. About 130 workers picketed the depot while managers struggled to deliver a small portion of the more than two million letters that have piled up. The walkout was in response to the sacking of driver Alan McCrackle for taking too much sick leave. It followed the rejection of appeals by two other drivers sacked for the same reason last year.

Buses

06 January 2001
BUS DRIVERS in the West Midlands last month voted to reject a five-year pay deal which could lead to a ballot over strike action in the new year. This was the fourth time Travel West Midlands bosses have put the offer to the drivers, who rejected it by 1,509 votes to 1,292. The drivers are angry that the deal still means new drivers will get less pay than longstanding workers.

Luton airport

06 January 2001
TRADE UNION officials rammed through an appalling deal at Luton airport just as workers were expecting to launch strike action over the Christmas holiday. Members of the TGWU union voted narrowly to accept the deal, by 217 to 179, the week before Christmas.

Gushing anger

06 January 2001
THE BOOK Oil by US author Upton Sinclair was a bestseller when it was published in 1926. The story of the oil boom in California is told through the eyes of Bunny, an oil tycoon's son who has sympathies with workers. But the real hero is Paul, a committed socialist, who leads an oil workers' strike and returns from a visit to Russia full of excitement for what the Bolsheviks are doing.

Unions organise against Labour's tube sell-off plan

06 January 2001
LONDON Underground workers were to begin ballots for strike action this week after management rejected union demands to preserve safety and staffing levels. The ASLEF and RMT unions are fighting the effects of New Labour's proposed PPP privatisation of the tube. The dispute hits at the heart of New Labour's privatisation mania. Strikes on the tube have the potential to kill the sell-off and add to the pressure on the government to renationalise the railway.

Oxford University Press

26 August 2000
"The strike is justified. You could say it's about a specific individual, but there is a whole principle of not having victimisation and fear." These are the words of one of the strikers at Oxford University Press (OUP) who began an all-out strike on Tuesday of this week. This is only the second strike in OUP's 500-year history.

Bus workers

26 August 2000
Manchester BUS SERVICES around north Manchester and Lancashire were brought to a halt again this week as drivers in two of Britain's leading bus companies went on strike over pay. Around 1,750 drivers on Manchester's First Group buses were on strike on Friday of last week and Monday of this week. The battle is over two issues-a decent pay rise and to get rid of the differences in pay rates that drivers get. This is the fourth time the drivers, members of the TGWU union, have taken action.

1,000 win on Merseyside

26 August 2000
POSTAL workers on Merseyside have won an inspiring victory after around 1,000 walked out on unofficial strike in support of their mates at the Bootle office. "The atmosphere is brilliant. Everyone is buoyant. The strikes were a breath of fresh air and really stuck one on the managers," says a Liverpool postal worker.

Gas

26 August 2000
SOME 120 workers for British Gas Services in London held a strike last week in a dispute over pay. The engineers, members of the GMB union, are demanding the firm pays all the workers the £100 inner London allowance which only a section of the workforce gets.

BAe

26 August 2000
HUNDREDS OF workers at a BAE Systems plant, formerly British Aerospace, near Manchester have voted to take strike action over pay. The 620 workers at the Woodford factory in Greater Manchester voted by a huge 93.95 percent for strike action.

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