Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/15047
Posted on 17 August 2012 at 14:58 GMT
Sheffield council craftsmen striking on 17 August 2012, photo Alistair Tice (Click to enlarge)
And the toilet seat goes to ..... Sheffield City Council!
Because that's what around 100 council craftsmen think about councillors and management that have left them earning up to £4,000 a year less than labourers after a re-grading exercise.
On strike for the day on Friday 17th August, electricians, mechanics and stonemasons, members of Unite, GMB and Ucatt trade unions, marched down to the town hall after picketing Olive Grove depot from 6am. There they presented the council with their toilet seat medal.
Unite's vote was 81.4% in favour of the walkout, while the other two unions, GMB and Ucatt, secured 100% for a strike.
Mark Keeling, Unite convenor for Sheffield City Council, said: "The craftsmen have served apprenticeships and taken college courses to do their jobs, which are skilled work.
"At the same time as the council is refusing to review craft wages, it is doing a review of managers' wages in line with equal pay legislation."
On the picket line, most other workers signed the strikers' petition demanding equal pay.
On Monday, these workers along with 480 council Streetforce staff are being transferred over to Amey, a private multinational that has won the 25-year £2 billion Private Finance Initiative contract to repair and maintain Sheffield's roads and street lighting.
Because of penalty clauses in the contract, the craftsmen feel confident that the threat of further strike action can force Amey to concede on pay.
It says something about Sheffield's Labour council when the strikers feel they have more chance of getting regraded with Amey than a Labour council!
Alistair Tice, Sheffield Socialist Party
Donate to the Socialist Party
Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal
The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.
Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777
Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206
Regional Socialist Party organisers:
Eastern: 079 8202 1969
East Mids: 077 3797 8057
London: 075 4018 9052
North East: 078 4114 4890
North West 079 5437 6096
South West: 077 5979 6478
Southern: 078 3368 1910
Wales: 079 3539 1947
West Mids: 024 7655 5620
Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041