Socialist Worker

Strike


A message to our readers

10 February 2001
Regular readers of Socialist Worker will have noticed some changes in the paper in the last three weeks. We are devoting more pages than before to reports of meetings, protests, strike ballots and strikes. And on each of the pages there are more reports than before.

Air traffic control

10 February 2001
Air Traffic controllers in the IPMS union voted at a delegate conference last weekend to ballot members on strike action if the government continues its plans to privatise the National Air Traffic Services (NATS).

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."

GM's 'divide and rule' tactics

10 February 2001
"This is back to divide and rule." So said a Vauxhall car worker in Luton this week. The result of the strike ballot by Vauxhall workers for action to save the Luton plant was to be announced at the end of this week.

Union Rights - Unofficial Action

10 February 2001
Willerby Holiday Homes was shut down on Thursday and Friday of last week after 300 UCATT union members staged an unofficial strike in support of their demands for full time on-site shop stewards.

Oxford Postal Workers: 'We're not scared of anti-union laws'

10 February 2001
Around 900 postal workers were on unofficial illegal strike in Oxfordshire as Socialist Worker went to press.

Unions united in solidarity

10 February 2001
Some 1,300 council workers in Knowsley, members of the public sector union UNISON, struck on Thursday of last week against our bosses' plans to make us work longer hours. The strike was absolutely solid across the council.

Fighting privatisation strikes a popular mood

10 February 2001
London Underground management was forced to admit that Monday's strike paralysed the tube.

Tube strike dates set

03 February 2001
Tube workers in London were set to strike on Monday after a magnificent vote for action to stop privatisation wrecking health and safety. Tube bosses were threatening to go to the courts to try and undermine the action as Socialist Worker went to press.

Reports round-up

27 January 2001
The threat of strike action has forced Arriva to offer bus drivers in Wycombe a 7.8 percent pay rise and an hour cut in the working week. The 120 drivers, members of the TGWU union, had voted by 69 percent to strike unless they got a decent rise.

Firefighters

27 January 2001
"We'Vve given up a chance to stop a maverick chief officer trampling all over us." So said a Merseyside firefighter after the Fire Brigades Union accepted a poor deal rather than act on last week's vote for a strike. There will be "talks" over the number of control room staff, and a "review" of cuts in the number of appliances responding to automatic calls. A majority of FBU branches, 19 to six, reluctantly voted for the deal under pressure from FBU general secretary Andy Gilchrist, and regional and brigade officials.

Councils

27 January 2001
Hackney Council Workers in Hackney, east London, will strike next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in a crucial dispute over the ruling group's plans for cuts and privatisation. The Labour-Tory coalition "structural adjustment plans" mean cutting £50 million over the next three years. Hundreds of jobs will go and services will be handed over to private firms.

Post

27 January 2001
Royal Mail workers should vote no to the 3.2 percent pay deal recommended by the majority of the CWU union's postal executive. After months of negotiations Post Office bosses conceded a further 0.1 percent at the last moment. This was enough for the union's leaders to halt plans for a strike ballot.

Picket line verdict

27 January 2001
Around 3,000 Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) workers in the PCS civil servants' union went on strike on Wednesday and Thursday of last week over pay. Picket lines sprang up across England and Wales after management tried to impose a deal workers had rejected by 82 percent in a ballot.

Rank and file have guts for victory

27 January 2001
'This dispute is part of our revenge' An unofficial rank and file strike by about 3,000 postal workers in north west England broke the anti-union laws and forced Royal Mail management into a humiliating retreat this week.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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