Socialist Worker

Strike


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.

Councils

26 August 2000
Hackney BIN WORKERS and street cleaners in Hackney, east London, have forced the council to back off from 40 compulsory job cuts. The 280 workers had been set to take strike action for two days this week. The workers had threatened to escalate to all-out action in the beginning of September.

Crisis threatens cars, steel, textiles, shipyards... Act now to save jobs

29 April 2000
Strike to shut Ford across EuropeOccupy Rover to keep out alchemyStop New Labour giving in to the fat cats

Season Ticket — a novel where fans strike back

05 February 2000
"THEY ALL think we're scum." That is the view of two young Newcastle fans, Gerry and his mate Sewell. They are the main characters in Jonathan Tulloch's great novel Season Ticket. Gerry and Sewell live in Gateshead. Sewell's dad is doing a long stretch in prison. Gerry's dad is a violent, abusive drinker.

Great politics on the Connex picket lines

05 February 2000
Great politics on the picket lines DURING THE Connex rail strike on Tuesday of last week myself and another comrade went down to the drivers' picket line at Orpington, Kent. The response we received was brilliant. People welcomed us when we said we were from Socialist Worker. There was a real willingness by the strikers to talk about the issues behind their dispute and the wider political situation facing workers today.

Sky Chefs dispute ends — 'Proud of our fight'

05 February 2000
"WE WERE right to stand and fight. I have no doubts about that. People stood together and that makes me proud." They were the words of one of the sacked Sky Chefs workers who last week decided to end their brave 14 month fight. The 270 catering workers at Heathrow Airport were sacked by air giant Lufthansa simply for taking part in a legal one day strike against huge attacks on their pay and conditions.

Victory at Connex — 'Bosses scared to show their faces'

05 February 2000
"UNION railroads Connex." That was the headline in last Sunday's Observer newspaper. Drivers working for privatised rail company Connex have won a magnificent victory. One 24 hour strike by 1,500 train drivers left fat cat rail bosses reeling. Drivers, who belong to the ASLEF rail union, won their demands for a 35 hour week and 100 percent pension rights. Connex has also been forced to agree to recruit at least 60 new drivers. A driver from Battersea depot in south London told Socialist Worker, "Everyone stood together and we won. "All the managers who tried to bully and intimidate us are skulking around the mess room now. They're scared to show their faces."

Council protests

05 February 2000
LEICESTERSHIRE: Around 500 care workers across Leicestershire took part in the first of a series of one day strikes last Saturday against plans to cut wages. Leicestershire County Council bosses are trying to impose new contracts which will take away weekend shift allowances. This would cost some workers up to £2,000 a year. It is also feared that this pay cut could pave the way for privatisation. Support for the strike was solid amongst the mainly female part time workforce. Two rallies of about 100 strikers and supporters took place during the day. The workers planned more strikes this week and next unless management backed down.

French workers fight back

18 December 1999
MANY BELIEVED that after Germany, France would also go down the road of fascism. This was a particular fear after the far right tried to launch a coup in 1934. A general strike was called. Workers united in a spontaneous show of unity against the fascist threat. In June 1936 France was rocked by a massive wave of strikes and occupations after the election of a left of centre Popular Front government.

Postal workers

18 December 1999
POSTAL WORKERS in many parts of Britain have won significant concessions over Christmas working arrangements. The moves follow an avalanche of requests for strike ballots. The biggest gains are in London where, according to one union member, "we have rewritten the national agreement between Royal Mail and the union, a deal which we did not like and should never have been accepted."

Civil servants

18 December 1999
CIVIL SERVANTS at the Manchester based Equal Opportunities Commission have accepted a pay offer for 1999 which will mean pay rises of up to 22 percent for the lowest paid. EOC rates began to lag behind those of other civil servants after national bargaining was ended. But an overwhelming vote to strike last year forced a much improved offer. The 4.1 percent offer will mean members near the bottom of each grade receiving the highest raise, without any reference to pay being performance related.

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